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Is more hydroponics needed for feeding humans?:

 26 Major Tom, Sun, 1st Jan '12 6:36:48 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
They want it now, cheap, and as good as it can get.

When it comes to hydroponics, that's a "choose two" sort of situation. You cannot get all three with it.
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Is that cake frosting?
For the moment, hydroponics is a promising research field, but it's still too expensive for widespread adoption.

Things might change very quickly, though.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 28 Deboss, Sun, 1st Jan '12 2:21:06 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Well, Tom does bring up an interesting point. If the chemical reaction in the food product you want is caused by low water conditions, I don't think you can duplicate that with hydroponics. Unless there's some other fluid you can A) suspend nutrients in B) is non water based C) has no reaction with plant biology. Hyrdoponics is essentially like a green house where you exchange your direct control of water and moisture for nutrient control.
 29 Radical Taoist, Sun, 1st Jan '12 5:35:45 PM from the #GUniverse
 30 Zersk, Sun, 1st Jan '12 6:37:42 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
Tom, I don't think that hydroponics would replace regular farming, though. It is a way, though, to produce food more efficiently. There'll still be the regular farming, of course, but the hydroponics is there to help it out, sort of thing.
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 31 Inhopelessguy, Sun, 1st Jan '12 6:46:14 PM from Birmingham, Greater Europe Relationship Status: Less than three
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Like a supplement to conventional agriculture?

Also, apparently, there's a lot of online stores that sell hydroponics stuff.

I can't seem to find any Office for National Statistics data on hydroponics and EUROSTAT wants me to pay for agricultural data.

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You go to lock the door.

What should we~ do~?

 32 Major Tom, Sun, 1st Jan '12 6:49:22 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
It is a way, though, to produce food more efficiently.

Ok correct me if I'm wrong but how do you get more efficient than plant seeds, bury them, keep them irrigated and growing for approximately 30-150 days depending on plant and then harvest? That's all there is to farming.

The only factor hydroponics truly removes is insect exposure. Even then that's not a highly toutable advantage especially since it trades nutrition and taste for that. Worse, get one contaminated vat of crops and it's likely the entire lab is contaminated with something.
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 33 Blurring, Sun, 1st Jan '12 7:52:53 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
One S.M.A.S.H. to rue them all.
[up]

  • Hydroponic allows for closer planting of crops. This results in higher productivity in a given area.
  • Hydroponic saves water because less water will be lost through evaporation from the soil or by leaching out below the root zone.
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 34 Aceof Spades, Sun, 1st Jan '12 8:07:58 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
We have the tools already for efficient farming. The problem is distribution, which won't be solved until we can get people to stop fighting and actually fairly distribute the food in question. We don't really need hydroponics.

In fact, I can see this having a negative social consequence of a) putting many, many farmers out of business and b) bullying those same farmers off their homes to make way for the spread of urbanization. We don't need to be spreading out more and paving over nature. This is, of course, once we develop technology to the point where this would be reliable and cost effective in the first place.

But seriously, if we're paying farmers not to produce then the amount of food is not the problem we have.
 35 Zersk, Sun, 1st Jan '12 10:11:37 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
^^ Plus, there's vertical farming, so you can have multiple floors of it, so you can produce more plants in a given area.
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 36 Octo, Sun, 1st Jan '12 10:13:51 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
Well, rather, "there will be vertical farming". So far, it's all either not technically or not economically feasible. That's the main point: Hydroponics might be the best thing since sliced bread - but it is not yet economically feasible. It still requires more development for mass use. So calling for it now makes IMO little sense.
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 37 Zersk, Sun, 1st Jan '12 10:53:53 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
It isn't? :o Well, I was imagining something as just a multi-level thing. :/ Is that not possible?
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 38 Aceof Spades, Sun, 1st Jan '12 10:59:12 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Not at our current technology level. Although, given steppe style farming, we can probably do it to some extent without hydroponics. Like, small scale on top of houses? Something to think about.
 39 Deboss, Sun, 1st Jan '12 11:10:06 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Well, vertical farming is definitely a plus, provided you have the energy to feed the plants. Part of the advantage of old school farming is that it comes with sunlight. Of course if you're a nature fan, you should be promoting this stuff and tunneling downward into the earth since we can abuse floor space rules.
 40 pvtnum 11, Mon, 2nd Jan '12 10:54:46 AM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Since we're paying farmers to not farm, we have spare capacity for the time being. When we're running the spare farms at full-tilt (basically, at the limits of our production capacity), then we can worry about vertical farming and other methods. But until then, more advanced methods will be superfluous and high-cost.
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And I don't mind paying farmers not to farm if it means guaranteeing long-term productive lands for future population.

 42 Radical Taoist, Mon, 2nd Jan '12 1:15:15 PM from the #GUniverse
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