Portal for Economical Hydroponic Vegetable Production

Design, Develop, Maintain Informational Portal for Economical Hydroponic Vegetable Production: Draper and Dr. Keener

Summary:  FABE develops new management aids. These aids are posted on The Ohio State University Hydroponic Crop Extension website along with other management tools.

Situation:  Hydroponic growing systems result in year-round production of high quality vegetable crops. Ohioans have a high interest in such a system for local, sustainable food production. Management/operation of hydroponic production systems to optimize production levels and reduce cost remains major issues for growers.

Response:  FABE maintains The Ohio State University Hydroponic Crop Extension website which serves as a portal of information. The website features interactive budgets that enable producers to realize their costs of production and make informed decisions that affect the long term financial health of their business. Also provides decision support tools for growing crops hydroponically. Funding of this program has been through a grant to FABE from USDA-CSREES.

Impact:  Website is utilized by nearly 1000 growers, would-be growers, and other interested individuals in Ohio and around the world each month. From 9/1/2008 to 4/30/2012, there were 41,859 visits to the website from 178 countries. Of these, about 70% were first-time visitors. The online budget tools have been adapted for numerous prospective producers, including Van Scoy Farms which constructed and now operates the largest year-round tomato greenhouse in Ohio.