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Soilless Technology

Traditional Farming

Modern Agriculture

Soilless – Growing in artificial
substrate in a growing system

Advantages

Ability to monitor and control water and fertilizer quantities

Optimal moisture in the substrate

Optimal supply of nutrients

Ability to disinfect between growing periods

Cost-effective B.Advantages  Water recycling A.)  Yield and quality opportunities . etc. Environment–friendly solution  Excellent solution when soil is not suitable for growing crops  (salinity. drainage problems.

Limitations  Low root volume  Low nutrient storage  Trace elements-important to control  Low buffering capacity  Fast changes in pH  Salinity – water quality .

(l/m2) Water content (%) Available water (l/m2) Soil 500 30 150 Peat 25 50 12 Rockwool 15 60 10 .Root Volume Cultivation Root Zone vol.

1 .Nutrient Storage Cultivation Available water (l/m2) N gr/m2 Soil 150 52 Peat 12 3.4 Rockwool 10 2.

Ideal Substrate  High water capacity and mobility  Sufficient air/water ratio  Light weight  Stable  Not saline .

. for the optimization of the irrigation and fertilizer requirements. it is necessary to be familiar with its physical and chemical properties.Physical and Chemical Properties For efficient utilization of the substrate.

Physical Properties  Air/water ratio  Water Retention Curve  Water content  Air capacity  Volume weight .

Water status  Water/air ratio will be determined mainly by the size of the particles.  Three main parameters should be considered:  Amount of available water (in a given tension)  Water content  Air content .

2 0.Air / Water ratio will be determined mainly by size of particles 40 35 % 30 long fiber ½ 25 short fiber ¼ 20 15 10 5 0 4 10 20 40 fiber sizes 60 150 <150 MESH 4 10 20 40 60 150 <150 MM >4.10 .1 <0.75 4.3 0.7-0.85 0.85-0.75-1.25-0.36-0.7 1.

Water retention .

Chemical properties  EC  pH  Mineral content  Exchangeable Cation Capacity .

Types of Substrates Substrates can be divided into two main groups:  Inorganic substrates  Organic substrates .

Inorganic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Organic Substrates .

Containers  In order to maintain an optimal air/water ratio for the crop. .  The container height has to be optimized for each container type and crop. the system’s drainage capacity is very important for all types of substrates.

Containers 76 .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

Containers .

 There are differences in water status within the container.Container Sizes & Configuration Water Air Air porosity 7 43 25 8 42 - 8 42 - 9 41 - 10 40 - 10 40 - 15 35 - 21 29 - 45 5 - 50 0 0 50 50 % of Volume  Water status will be also determined by the container configuration. Solid Water Air .

Container Sizes & Configuration .

MARI  Monitor  Analyze  Record  Implement .

MARI .

Online Monitoring EC / pH Automatically done by Controller NO3 / EC / pH Manually – every week Cl N-NO3 N-NH4 2-4 Weeks K P Ca Mg Drainage 2-4 Weeks .

30-50%  Salinity Monitoring  Minerals accumulate easily. SO4  Easy leaching . Cl. mainly Na.Irrigation  Starting with 4-6 applications  Timing of intervals according to drainage percentage .

 Adjust the concentration of fertilizers according to the growing season (summer & winter).  Avoid salinity problems .  Determine the optimal ratio between the various elements.  Adjust the pH level.  Adjust the nutrition procedure according to the substrate’s characteristics.Nutrition Principles in Soilless Media  Determine the required nutrient according to the plant’s development status.

6 Ca 2.2 2. The figures show year-round cropping of 8 and 6 cases (experiments and nurseries) respectively.Absorption by Various Crops Absorption concentrations for tomato and sweet pepper expressed in mmol/l.8 .1 0.6 10.2 0.7 K 6.8 S 1.3 P 1.2 Mg 0.9 0. Elements Tomato Sweet pepper N 9.1 4.

5 Mg 2.2 Ca 3.8 2.6 1.15 .5 5 S 3.7 N 7.5 P 0.4 K 3.Guidelines for Soil-grown Tomatoes during summer and winter Winter Summer EC 2.1 1.8 2.15 0.3 2.

2.5-5.8 60-100 ppm 1:1 2:1 0.Elements Ratio (mmol/l)      K:P Ca:Mg K:N P Na      Bicarbonate SO4 Fe:Mn Copper Zn 1.03 not less then 0.8:1 NOT LINKED Low as possible below 35 ppm input and below target of 100 in slab 25-50 ppm producing pH of 5.5:1 or 2:1 4:1 6:1 1.4:1 1.2-0. over 1 ppm is toxicity .

5 in the irrigation solution.5-6.  Maintain the pH during the irrigation period. CO2 (HCO3-) (HNO3) H2O NO3 .  Use acid to correct the pH by titrating the bicarbonate (HCO3-).pH level  Reduce (or increase) pH to 5.

L Advantage .C.N.

L Advantage .C.N.

A Better Environment Friendly Approach  Higher yields per area unit  Accurate supply of water and fertilizers  Reuse of irrigation water .

Recycling System Recycling system Drain Reservoir NMC 64 Water Meter Netafim By-Pass Drain Water collection tank Sand Filter Drain Water after UV treatment EC connector to Dilution Junction NETALUX high pressure Fertilizer Fertilizer Tank M Clean Water Dilution Junction Clean water tank Fertilizer Tank .

weekly monitoring (Manually). Exceeding Nutrients Levels in Recycled Batch  An irrigation water monitoring solution is necessary for monitoring of chemical properties. and monthly monitoring (Lab).Hazards and Safety Guidelines Root diseases  A disinfection system should be considered for most of the crops.  Resetting the system accordingly .  The system should be placed under the recycling systems.  Daily monitoring (Automatically).

Reuse System Greenhouse A Soilless Reuse System Drain Reservoir Fertiliz er Tank EC connector to Dilution Junction Drain Water collection tank M Clean water tank Dilution Junction Fertiliz er Tank Greenhouse B Soil .

Environmental Friendly Solutions Meet Economical Feasibility .

Water Quantity (m3) Irrigation Balance .

Fertilizers Quantity (m3) Fertilizer Balance .

495 = 17.000 m3 Water /he x 20 cent = $7.500 m3 Water /he x 20 cent = $2.Economic Study  Recycling System 12.170 Total water and fertilizer expenses /he = $24.995 Total water and fertilizer expenses /he = $6.170 . $ 24.$ 6. Fertilizers /he x 34 cent = $3.495  Control (Without Recycling) 35.675 /he .170  Potential Saving.500 Li. Fertilizers /he x 34 cent = $17.750 Li.500 11.000 50.

Summary  Soilless technology can offer new opportunities for Growers  Soilless technology means efficient irrigation and fertigation management. resulting in increased yield and improved quality  A friendly environment approach is required to ensure the profitability of the crops .

Thank You for Your Attention ! .