Botman Hydroponics – sustainable cropping with water reduction

During Seed meets Technology Botman Hydroponics shows his continu plant-harvest hydroponic system. In a demonstration field the company demonstrates 32 different lettuce varieties from eight seed companies.

Challenge
When using land based cultivation techniques, the production amount and product quality strongly depends on climate zones and the quality of the soil. Furthermore, this type of cultivation exhausts the soil and emission of unwanted substances to underground and surface water takes place. Hydroponics offers a solution for this. However, clean water is becoming scarce all over the world. When introducing new cultivation systems it is therefore necessary to strongly confine emission and realize a reduction in use of water. On top of this, work efficiency, better product quality and new market opportunities are of importance.

Solution
Botman Hydroponics met with this challenge and developed a hydroponics system, which can be used independent of climate zone and water quality. By using crop specific crop holders and floaters, the cultivation system is suitable for all kinds of vegetable and ornamental crops. Therefore, the system is versatile, both for outside cultivation, as well as for cultivation under glass or urban farming. The system has been tested by Wageningen University Greenhouse Horticulture and Proeftuin Zwaagdijk, a well-known practical agricultural research centre based in the Netherlands. The system delivers a strong and clean product of high quality. The products can be harvested sooner and the moment of harvesting is controllable. The turnover per m2 is larger than when using land based cultivation techniques. A producer has the freedom to grow different kinds of crops at the same time, in a different growth stage. Botman Hydroponics is a modular build system and can therefore be used of all kinds of cultivation surfaces. The production and processing can be done either by hand or completely automated.

Technology
At Botman Hydroponics the plants placed in crop holders on plastic floats, in a pond filled with nutrient rich water. The plants are placed in tailor-made designed plastic crop holders. By using a smart floater design, a strict separation is being created between clean rainwater and water from the pond with a nutrient substance. The clean rainwater is being collected separately and can be used during cultivation or elsewhere within the company. The emission of nutrients to underground or surface water is completely prevented in this system. The systems realizes significant water savings compared to land based cultivation.

The Botman Hydroponics system stands out from other floating cultivation systems on the following points:

  • Usable for both outside cultivation as well as cultivation under glass.
  • Collection and drainage of rainwater, also at large surfaces.
  • Cleaning of floaters and crop holders to prevent the creation of mould and bacteria is very well possible.
  • Prevents problems with Microdochium panattonianum.
  • By using a smart floater design, a better interaction between water temperature and micro climate surrounding the plant. Therefore, the plant grows significantly better.

Contact

Botman Hydroponics B.V.

Prieel 17

1628 LS Hoorn, The Netherlands

T. +31 (0)6 38900656

E. jan@botmanhydroponics.nl

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