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CropKing.com - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about hydroponic greenhouse vegetable production...
How much money can I make in a hydroponic greenhouse?
So many different factors come into play when trying to answer this question. Your profitability is dependant on the greenhouse size, the crop that you grow, your market potential, marketing skills and your operating costs. CropKing will be happy to provide you with a basic Cash Flow Worksheet starting with our smallest commercial production unit (30'x128') to a larger 1/2 acre multi-bay gutter connect greenhouse. You may request it on our Response Form. For a more accurate answer to this question, you will need to have a full business plan. The "Business Plan on CD" may also be requested on the enclosed Response Form.
What crop do I start with?
Many of our new growers start with tomatoes because it is what they know best and it is the easiest to market. While tomatoes are easier to market, lettuce offers a more even cash flow and requires less physical labor. Lettuce even offers the potential to produce more income out of the same size greenhouse. The best scenario of all is to start with one crop and add additional bays of other crops as you market.
Can I grow different types of crops in the same greenhouse?
We suggest growing one crop in 2-bays (44' x128') or smaller. Each type of plant has different environmental ideals and fertilizer requirements. Equipment duplication would be required to provide this diversity in a greenhouse.
Where do I market my produce?
Many of our growers market to their grocery stores and supermarkets usually within a 50 mile radius of their greenhouse. Look for markets which place real value on high quality and the fact that their produce is locally grown. Another outlet to consider is your local farm market. Farm markets have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity and can be a perfect place for you to sell your product at retail with no "middle-man".
Will the market ever become saturated?
Probably not in our lifetime! Over 95% of all tomatoes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico, Florida and California. Due to transport time, the quality of a tomato is poor. The market is huge for a tomato that really tastes like a tomato! If you are in a market area with a population of 100,000 within 50 miles, it would take 9 bays of our (22'x128') greenhouses to supply only 10% of the market.
How do I finance my greenhouse?
Most growers finance through their local bank. A home equity loan is the most popular and the easiest type of loan for starting a small business. Others have been successful with leasing. If you are seeking financing, a Business Plan can dramatically increase your chances of securing financing. Our Business Plan on CD ($99.95) enables you to write your own business plan. You must have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer for the business plan software to function properly.
How do I finance my greenhouse?
How will I learn to grow hydroponically?
As part of your decision making process, we strongly suggest that you consider attending a CropKing Grower Workshop prior to your purchase. These workshops offer the ideal opportunity to learn firsthand about what is involved in the day-to-day operation of a hydroponic greenhouse. Workshops are held six to eight times a year at different locations around the country. We plan our workshops at locations where a current grower graciously offers the use of their facility. The beauty of this training is that you get the opportunity to see a real working greenhouse. When considering a purchase of this magnitude, attending a Growers Workshop makes perfect sense. What could be better-the $595.00 price of the school deductible from your complete package price! CropKing also provides a Grower's Manual, the Workshop on DVD and on-going consultation both by phone and e-mail as part of the complete package. It is our desire, here at CropKing, to create new successful growers!
What is my next step?
You can call our commercial salespeople at 330-302-4203 (8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to give us the opportunity to answer more of your questions.