Horticulture doesn’t come without challenges. As we’ve seen in the news, despite the best intentions, no grower can be sustainable if they can’t stay in business. Challenges include:
• Supply chain disruptions
• Rising fertilizer and energy costs
• Water restrictions due to drought
These aren’t passing fads. Heavier input costs are biting into profits for many growers.
New greenhouse technologies are impacting the bottom line by increasing automation, reducing input needs, and minimizing maintenance. Labor-saving machines, nutrient blends, substrates, lighting systems, and environmental controls get most of the attention. Water has seemed pretty basic and unimprovable for most of agricultural history, but that’s no longer the truth.
Nanobubble technology is a chemical-free method of treating irrigation water that can reduce fertilizer needs, improve yields, shorten crop cycle times, and reduce disease pressure. Lowering inputs, whether chemical, energy, or material, saves operators money, making the crop more sustainable and environmentally responsible. Higher yields and better quality with fewer inputs is a double revenue booster. It’s both cost-effective and a win for sustainability.
How Growers Are Using Nanobubble Greenhouse Technology
Nanobubbles are an easy-to-install, scalable greenhouse technology and can be integrated without an expensive overhaul of your irrigation system. Moleaer’s nanobubble technology provides a chemical-free means of raising dissolved oxygen (DO), improving water quality, and cleaning water systems.
Produce growers with greenhouse cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, tomatoes, and strawberries are all seeing financially significant results by adding nanobubbles to their greenhouse technology stack, resulting in reduced inputs, increased yields, cleaner systems, and faster crop cycle times.
Why Dissolved Oxygen is Important in horticulture
Root zone health is plant health. Without a thriving root system, money spent on supplemental lighting, IPM, fertigation, or AI data systems is wasted. Root cells must conduct cellular respiration to carry out metabolic processes and uptake nutrients, whether grown in soil, substrate, or hydroponic systems. That doesn’t happen without oxygen.
Raising the oxygen level in the irrigation water produces a greenhouse plant with a better, more vigorous root system, whether growing in soil, substrate, or hydroponic systems.
Higher oxygen levels at the roots mean more active root growth and activity, more root cell energy generation via ATP production, and better nutrient uptake. All other things equal, the plant with more efficient nutrient uptake is the plant with faster, heavier, healthier growth and better plant resilience to stressors. Eliminating nutrient uptake as a limiting factor frees you to concentrate on other plant growth factors.
Greenhouse Tecnology: Nanobubbles Increase Your DO Efficiently and Cost-Effectively
Unlike traditional aeration methods, nanobubbles remain suspended in water for long periods, continuously delivering oxygen to the entire body of water. Conventional water aeration methods, however, typically achieve a DO of less than 6-9 ppm, providing limited benefit to root cells.
Higher dissolved oxygen levels are even more challenging to achieve in warmer irrigation water because the capacity of water to hold dissolved oxygen decreases as temperature increases. Water chilling systems come with high energy costs and are still limited by the oxygen saturation point of water. Nanobubble generators supersaturate irrigation water with elevated dissolved oxygen levels, eliminating the oxygenation issues associated with warmer water.
Providing high levels of stable, cost-effective DO provides many benefits, including higher root mass, lower pathogen levels, and a cleaner irrigation system, which means fewer maintenance tasks and less downtime.
Nanobubbles Provide Water Quality Improvements for Greenhouse Plants
Adding nanobubble technology doesn’t just increase DO. The unique properties of nanobubbles improve water quality, scour biofilm, increase substrate wettability and water infiltration and help prevent disease-causing pathogens.
These benefits have been proven through third-party research and Moleaer’s customers in the field. In fact, researchers found that using nanobubble-treated water in agriculture irrigation systems effectively mitigated biofouling, reducing fixed-biomass by 30-50%. Additional research studies can be found in our Resource Center.
Case Studies by Crop
Moleaer strives for real-world results that drive success for our clients. Improving water quality improves the bottom line, and the results from greenhouses around the world are impressive. From greenhouse vegetables to fruit and lettuce, crops significantly benefit from nanobubble-enriched irrigation water. Click on the links to read more about how growers are solving problems while becoming more sustainable.
- Greenhouse Strawberries: Strawberry growers are seeing reduced Pythium and Phytophthora counts and 11-14% yield increases.
- Greenhouse Peppers: Greenhouse pepper growers experienced improved root health and growth by 25%.
- Greenhouse Cucumbers: Cucumber producers using nanobubble technology saw 18% more first-class fruit and 16% higher yields.
- Greenhouse Tomatoes: Greenhouse tomatoes grown with nanobubbles were heavier (8.4%) and larger (3.8%) and saw a 9.7% higher yield.