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May 2013

Selecting a Growing Structure for Fodder Production

Posted By:
CropKing Admin
Posted On:
Hydroponic Fodder

One of the common questions often heard at CropKing is the optimal environment for hydroponic fodder production. To begin to address this topic, one of the first catch phrases that come to mind is “controlled germination.” This term fits well with hydroponic fodder production because we are only concerned with the first seven to fourteen days of growth. These plants are relying very little on the sun to provide the energy they need to develop, and more on their “food” stores within the seed. This “food” or endosperm inside of the seed is most often in the form of starch. Starch can be converted to a more easily digested form for our livestock to consume through the process of germination. These facts alone can certainly influence the way we approach our environmental control.

Late Fall to Spring Leaf Lettuce Trial

Posted By:
CropKing Admin
Posted On:
leaf lettuce

Hydroponic lettuce production in the United States now encompasses a wide spectrum of lettuce types and cultivars. While Bibb cultivars still occupy a large percentage of the market, many growers are also seeking attractive and distinctive lettuce cultivars to meet consumer demand. Due to these factors, leafy cultivars, including looseleaf and Lollo types, are becoming more common in hydroponic greenhouses. However, some of these cultivars have been more often grown in soil based systems, and there is a need to better understand their performance in the greenhouse. Consistency in both productivity and timing is important for greenhouse growers, and seasonal conditions can have a large impact on cultivar performance. Trialing of available cultivars under differing conditions is important in informing grower decisions. Important points of evaluation are growth rate, yield and visual coloration. The goal of this set of trials was to evaluate a selection of leaf lettuce cultivars through a range of late fall, winter, and early spring conditions to evaluate their potential for greenhouse growers in the Midwest and northeast. Cultivars were obtained from varied seed suppliers to represent a broad selection of cultivars available to lettuce producers.