Source: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
HYDROPONICS PRODUCTION, OH
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0219286
Grant No.
2009-34391-20029
Project No.
OHO01048-SS
Proposal No.
2009-04083
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
OF
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2009
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2011
Grant Year
2009
Project Director
Keener, H. M.
Recipient Organization
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
1680 MADISON AVENUE
WOOSTER,OH 44691
Performing Department
Food, Agric and Biological Engineering
Non Technical Summary
The overall objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate economically sustainable, year-round, high quality, hydroponic horticultural crop production systems that operate in energy efficient greenhouses with Internet decision support tools for business planning.
Animal Health Component
30%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
30%
Developmental
60%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
4011499202020%
2041499202040%
2051499202040%
Goals / Objectives
The overall goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate economically sustainable, year-round, high quality, hydroponic horticultural crop production systems that operate in energy efficient greenhouses with Internet decision support tools for business planning. This goal will be achieved by meeting the following objectives: 1. Assist greenhouse growers with the establishment and expansion of markets and marketing organizations for hydroponically produced crops. 2. Develop new and refine existing Internet decision support tools for producing greenhouse crops efficiently and economically. 3. Investigate the impact of water, nutrient and energy management practices on food, flower and nursery crop quality and yield while maximizing profits, water, nutrient and energy use efficiencies and minimizing negative impacts on the environment. 4. Refine and demonstrate computer controlled fertigation systems to improve quality, yield and nutrient management efficiency of landscape nursery and greenhouse-grown crops. 5. Investigate and identify greenhouse environmental control options to reduce energy consumption and increase production efficiency of greenhouse crops.
Project Methods
To develop and demonstrate economically sustainable hydroponic horticultural crop production systems the following methods will be used. 1.) Business management tools for hydroponic crop production will be developed for new and experienced producers. They will be tailored to greenhouse growers who may be looking for new crop possibilities or those interested in expanding existing production. Workshops will be held with subject matter experts invited to interact with producers and give educational presentations to assist the growers. 2.) The Ohio State University (OSU) Hydroponic Crop Program website (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/hydroponics/) will be revised to include integrated hydroponic production and business models. The production models will include diagnostic tools based on hydroponics research at OSU and other public institutions. Cost and pricing data from 2008 will also be provided on the website. 3.) Water samples for source water, influent and effluent water at landscape nursery and hydroponic greenhouses will be collected from growers across the state and analyzed for pH, EC, TDS, alkalinity, acidity, NH3-N, Cl, NO3, ICP Mjr. Data will be used to develop fact sheets to advise growers on environmental issues and to provide recommendations for managing feed water to obtain maximum yields and high quality products. Site specific data will be used with producers to identify problems with the water used in plant production and to offer feedback that can be implemented to improve general growing practices. 4.) A state-of-the-art nutrient delivery system has been installed (Argus Control Systems Limited, White Rock, BC V4B 3Y9) in a landscape nursery crop research greenhouse at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. This system will allow delivery of precisely formulated nutrient recipes with feed back control of EC and pH. In addition, a hydroponic research laboratory was designed and constructed in the greenhouse in Spring 2008. The water and nutrient delivery system is capable of randomly and simultaneously delivering 16 different treatments to hydroponically-grown crops via 16 growing channels supplied by 8 solution tanks. Each 12-ft long growing channel was designed to grow 18 plants 8 in. apart. Fractional factorial experiments at two levels have been designed with the objective of measuring the impact of a variety of controllable factors on hydroponic lettuce production, including the rate of dry biomass produced (g/d), water use efficiency (ml/g), nutrient use efficiency (g/g) and product quality. 5.) Development of a design analysis tool to determine internal cooling requirements for desired greenhouse closure levels for northern climates has been initiated. The effort will be continued to determine the amount of heat a greenhouse can economically harvest and save for future greenhouse heating. Heat produced from greenhouse cooling operations can also be stored and used to meet later heating requirements.

Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The Ohio hydroponic crop production program has assisted existing and prospective hydroponic growers in Ohio, U.S. and abroad with technical, cultural, and marketing support through one-on one consultations and site visits, telephone and e-mail communications, conference presentations, publications and a hydroponic website http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/hydroponics. For the website from 2009-2011 a total of 19,945 visits occurred.. The top viewed contents were the interactive tomato model and the economic budgets. During time period program personnel: worked with three Northwestern Ohio producers to develop hydroponic greenhouse facilities for year-round production of lettuce and tomatoes; developed an online blog, Ohio State University Extension's Greenhouse RESOURCE (http://ohiogreenhouse.wordpress.com/) to replace a printed newsletter that had been mailed to producers; assisted Ohio's vegetable and ornamental producers in the appropriate use of chemical and biological products on a variety of greenhouse crops; delivered educational programs to Master Gardeners and producers on different hydroponic systems, crops grown and ability to supply local markets with produce year round; presented a poster describing the research at the annual Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's Scarlet and Gray Green Fair, Wooster, Ohio and at the annual Ohio and Indiana's Farm Science Review (FSR), London, Ohio [For the FSR in 2011 over 500 attendees stopped and asked questions and around 15 high school biology and agriculture science teachers picked up handouts as a part of preparing for new units of class instruction on hydroponic tomato and lettuce production]; assisted in the development of two proposals for multi-state educational program in greenhouse technology and control of pest diseases; made presentations on Precision Nutrient Decision System (PNDS) - in 2009 at a Regional meeting of International Society of Horticultural Science in North Carolina, in 2010 at The International Horticultural Society of Horticultural Science meeting held in Lisbon, Portugal and in September 2011 at workshop and demonstration of the system in Ohio for twenty three (23) of the largest nursery producers ( invited meeting) with 50 growers and owners In attendance; and traveled to Belgium to participate in a three-day seminar (10/ 6-8/2010) entitled, "NFT Lettuce and Herbs" sponsored by Hortiplan Corporation, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium and visit hydroponic lettuce growing facilities in the area. Research: Conducted six experiments 2009-2011 in hydroponics laboratory to evaluate and optimize hydroponic lettuce growing processes in a greenhouse and studied over 4 year period precision nutrient delivery system at an Ohio Nursery (see 2011 CRIS report for OHO01070-SS for recent details). Project also determined the potential recoverable heat from greenhouse ventilation exhaust (MS Thesis resulted); conducted study on collection of adult whiteflies B. tabaci from poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) canopies using an air assisted mobile insect vacuum prototype (MS Thesis resulted). PARTICIPANTS: Harold M. Keener, Professor in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Specialist in Systems Engineering; Beth Fausey, Floriculture and Hydroponics Vegetable Extension Educator and Director Agricultural Business Enhancement Center; Peter Ling, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Controlled Environmental Plant Production; Chad Draper, Program Specialist in Web Based Systems; Robert Hansen, Research Associate in Nursery and Hydroponic Systems; Bill Bauerle, OSU Faculty Emeritus in Horticulture and Crop Science, Dr. Robert W. McMahon, Horticultural Technologies ATI, and Willoway Nurseries, Inc. TARGET AUDIENCES: Growers, Extension Agents, Public, and Educators PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
(1) The Ohio State University Hydroponic Crop extension website is serving as a portal to valuable, research-based information on hydroponic crop production. It has been utilized by nearly 900 growers, would-be growers, and other interested individuals in Ohio and around the world each month. In the last two years alone, requests for information on hydroponics were received from within the United States and Canada, and from over 10 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. (2) The website's interactive budgets has enabled producers to realize their costs of production and make informed decisions that affect the long term financial health of their business. The online budget tools have been adapted for numerous prospective and existing producers, including VanScoy Farms who constructed and now operates the largest year-round hydroponic greenhouse in Ohio. (3)The online blog, Ohio State University Extension's Greenhouse RESOURCE, has had nearly 3000 individual viewers since launching in April 2010. (4)The on-farm insect, disease, and nutritional diagnostics by program staff continued to impact Ohio growers with timely and accurate diagnosis of pest and nutritional problems and decreased use of improper pesticides and fungicides. Program staff educated producers on proper cultural and management techniques for optimum production resulting in increased yield and harvestable product. (5)Result of study abroad of the Belgium hydroponic vegetable industry has lead to several Ohio growers starting to produce tomatoes for off-season production. Also, additional research opportunities were identified. (6) Research studies showed growing media (polyurethane vs. rockwool) and solution flow rates significantly impacted growth rates of both Red and Green Bib lettuce. See CRIS report OHO01021-SS and OHO01070-SS for details/impacts. (7) Four years of field studies on PNDS at commerical nursery show its positive impact on plant growth, nutrient savings, protecting environment and improving economics of nursery production. Comments from Owner on PNDS: " Precision nutrient delivery system has improved uniformity and growth of plants and has ability to fix problems. Before a nutrient need could be identified but it was hard to address." (7) Graduated 3 students from 2009-11 with MS degrees in greenhouse production area.(8) Initiated projects :"Development of Teaching Modules for Controlled Environment Plant Production Engineering/Technology Courses", USDA/NIFA Higher Education Challenging Grants program and "Localizing Food Systems: Assessing Capacity of an Urban Neighborhood for Self Reliance in Fresh Produce", OSU Food Innovation Center.

Publications

  • Rodriguez, Wilmer. 2011. Effects of elevated CO2 on growth, development, nutrient concentration and insect performance of plants grown at sub-optimal temperature. M.S. Thesis. The Ohio State University.
  • Power, L. and P. Ling. 2011. Direct Sunlight Affects Temperature Measurement in Greenhouses. ForiBytes (VI):2. http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/floriculture/images/FloriBytes0611-GH engineering-temperature.pdf
  • Bumgarner, Natalie, J. Scheerens, R. Mullen, M. Bennett, P. Ling, and M. Kleinhenz. 2011. Root-zone temperature and nitrogen affect the amount and composition of fall and spring-grown leaf lettuce. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.4549/pdf
  • Frantz, J.M. and P.P. Ling. 2011. Growth, Partitioning, Nutrient and Carbohydrate Concentration of Petunia x hybrida Vilm. Are Influenced by Altering Light, CO2, and Fertility. HortScience, Vol. 2, no. 46. : 228-235.


Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The Ohio hydroponic crop production program has assisted existing and prospective hydroponic growers in Ohio, U.S. and abroad with technical, cultural, and marketing support through one-on one consultations and site visits, telephone and e-mail communications, conference presentations, publications and a hydroponic website http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/hydroponics. For the website in 2010, there were 10,713 visitors, compared to 12,558 during same period of 2009 resulting in 49,243 page views. Of these, 7,326 were first-time visitors. The top viewed contents were the interactive tomato model and the economic budgets. In 2009-2010, program staff: worked with three Northwestern Ohio producers to develop hydroponic greenhouse facilities for year-round production of lettuce and tomatoes, all projects are pending; developed an online blog, Ohio State University Extension's Greenhouse RESOURCE (http://ohiogreenhouse.wordpress.com/) to replace a printed newsletter that had been mailed to producers. (The blog routinely updates producers with program offerings and industry-related information); assisted Ohio's vegetable and ornamental producers in the appropriate use of chemical and biological products on a variety of greenhouse crops (In the past five years, provided nearly 22 hours of training on for pesticide applicator recertification); delivered 3 educational programs to Master Gardeners and producers on different hydroponic systems, crops grown and ability to supply local markets with produce year round; traveled with producers and fellow academics to study the Belgium hydroponic vegetable industry and brought insights, opportunities, and additional industry contacts to local producers; conducted three experiments to evaluate and optimize hydroponic lettuce growing processes in a greenhouse (see CRIS report OHO01021-SS for details/impacts); delivered via Power Point "Results from Growing Lettuce in a Hydroponics Research Laboratory" to the leadership team at CropKing, Inc., Lodi, Ohio, 1/10/10 and to the Greenhouse and Nursery Technology Applications Session of the Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Pittsburg, PA, 6/21/10; presented a poster describing the research at the annual Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's Scarlet and Gray Green Fair, Wooster, Ohio, 4/20/10 and at the annual Ohio State Farm Science Review (FSR), London, Ohio 9/21-23/10. (Last two years over 100 new producer packets were distributed at the FSR to individuals interested in starting or expanding their production of greenhouse produce. Additionally, over 200 manuals on developing and following Good Agricultural Practices were distributed to producers); conducted a study evaluating the potential recoverable heat from greenhouse ventilation exhaust (MS Thesis resulted); conducted study on collection of adult whiteflies B. tabaci from poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) canopies using an air assisted mobile insect vacuum prototype (MS Thesis resulted); assisted in the development of two proposals for multi-state educational program in greenhouse technology and control of pest diseases. PARTICIPANTS: Harold M. Keener, Professor in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Specialist in Systems Engineering; Beth Fausey, Floriculture and Hydroponics Vegetable Extension Educator and Director Agricultural Business Enhancement Center; Peter Ling, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Controlled Environmental Plant Production; Chad Draper, Program Specialist in Web Based Systems; Robert Hansen, Research Associate in Nursery and Hydroponic Systems; Bill Bauerle, OSU Faculty Emeritus in Horticulture and Crop Science, and Willoway Nurseries, Inc. TARGET AUDIENCES: Extension Agents, Public, and Educators PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
1. The Ohio State University Hydroponic Crop extension website is serving as a portal to valuable, research-based information on hydroponic crop production. It has been utilized by nearly 1000 growers, would-be growers, and other interested individuals in Ohio and around the world each month. In the last two years alone, requests for information on hydroponics were received from within the United States and Canada, and from over 10 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. 2. The website's interactive budgets has enabled producers to realize their costs of production and make informed decisions that affect the long term financial health of their business. The online budget tools have been adapted for numerous prospective and existing producers, including VanScoy Farms who constructed and now operates the largest year-round hydroponic greenhouse in Ohio. 3. The online blog, Ohio State University Extension's Greenhouse RESOURCE, has had nearly 3000 individual viewers since launching in April 2010. 4. The on-farm insect, disease, and nutritional diagnostics by program staff continued to impact Ohio growers with timely and accurate diagnosis of pest and nutritional problems and decreased use of improper pesticides and fungicides. Program staff educated producers on proper cultural and management techniques for optimum production resulting in increased yield and harvestable product. 5. Result of study abroad of the Belgium hydroponic vegetable industry has lead to two Ohio growers starting to produce tomatoes for off-season production. Also, additional research opportunities were identified and will be pursued in 2010-2011. 6. Research studies (3) showed growing media and solution flow rates significantly impacted growth rates of both Red and Green Bib lettuce. (See CRIS report OHO01021-SS for details/impacts). 7. Two students graduated in 2010 with MS degrees in greenhouse production area. 8. OSU Proposal "Development of Teaching Modules for Controlled Environment Plant Production Engineering/Technology Courses" received funding from USDA/NIFA Higher Education Challenging Grants program. 9. OSU Proposal "Systems Approach to Managing Microbial Threats to Greenhouse Tomatoes" received funding from USDA/NIFA Higher Education Challenging Grants program.

Publications

  • Hansen, R.C., J. Balduff and H.M. Keener. 2010. Development and operation of a hydroponic lettuce research laboratory. RESOURCE Magazine. ASABE: St. Joseph, Michigan. July/August issue, p. 4-7.
  • Biffi, Alfredo. 2010. Development of an Autonomous Insect Collection Prototype for Greenhouse Applications. M.S. Thesis. The Ohio State University.
  • Wee Fong Lee. 2010. Cooling Capacity Assessment of Semi-closed Greenhouses. M.S. Thesis. The Ohio State University