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21 December 2023 / 5 minutes read

Aeroponics and the future of soilless cultivation

Let’s say NO to waste and YES to a sustainable future!
The current model of agriculture generates waste, contaminated food and high environmental impact. That's why we decided to abandon the traditional approach and embrace the versatility of modern farming. From soilless cultivation to hydroponics and aeroponics - technology is the key to optimal plant management.

Inside the world of soilless cultivation
Our proposal for precision soilless cultivation results in more timely control, better resource management, and amazing productivity. In terms of "classic" soilless cultivation, organic substrates such as coconut fiber, peat and perlite promote sustainability and environmental balance. Inert substrates, on the other hand, eliminate risks related to plant life cycles, ensuring safe and controlled cultivation.

Hydroponics: between NFT and Floating System
Hydroponics represents a milestone in the evolution of agriculture to grow plants in an innovative and sustainable way. It branches into two approaches: the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system and the Floating System, which differ in their characteristics and impacts on cultivation. The core of the NFT technology is PVC channels, where water flows continuously under plant roots. The Floating System, on the other hand, is a type of cultivation that takes place in a vertical-walled greenhouse.

Idromeccanica Lucchini is always looking ahead, because every innovation is just another step toward new challenges. This is why we believe Aeroponics is the new frontier of cutting-edge cultivation. It is an advanced form of soilless cultivation, which differs from hydroponics in that it is grown in pots, cylinders or trays. And the use of aeriform nutrients, for a highly efficient and sustainable environment. A technology successfully used to grow solanaceous vegetables and lettuces, using specially designed containers. LED lighting, and underlying sprinklers, create an ideal environment for plant growth, with emphasis on optimal distribution of the nutrient solution.

Edo Radici Felici
On your own, you don't get very far. That is why, in this virtuous journey, we have chosen a special traveling companion for our aeroponic vision. Edo Radici Felici is a cutting-edge SME that designs and builds innovative and sustainable soilless plants for aeroponics, including vertical farming.

Edo Radici Felici wanted to raise the aeroponic technique to the power by patenting Airfloating. An innovative system for free-rooting, closed-loop, soilless cultivation capable of generating sustainable competitiveness in the final product. It is a system suitable for all types of leafy vegetable crops, consisting of contiguous tanks on which plant-bearing pallets run for growing without substrate. The system monitors, controls and differentiates plant nutrition, for the various phenological stages, throughout the production cycle. Making use, to this end, of IT solutions for planning, automation, management, and fine-tuning control.

Tests conducted on cherry tomatoes by the University of Pisa show surprising results. As shown in the picture, yield per square meter increases significantly with lower water and energy inputs. In addition, water consumption is reduced and costs are optimized, especially when water administration is more targeted.

All-around effectiveness

Aeroponics also proves effective in terms of spatial efficiency. Making the most of sunlight - an abundant resource in the Italian ecosystem - thanks to a three-dimensional and vertical approach. A technique that is also well suited to indoor farming, optimizing modulation on vertical layers for small-scale production, as in the case of Edo Radici Felici.

Massimo Lucchini CEO
Idromeccanica Lucchini
soilless aeroponics hydroponics technolgy
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