Commercial aquaponics is a young sector of agriculture but one with great potential. There are commercial aquaponic farms in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and a few other countries but, as of now, the total number of commercial enterprises is quite small. But, the application of commercial aquaponics is growing exponentially as innovative entrepreneurs realize that local food production is a profitable venture that is critically important to food-safety and availability. Aquaponics allows a grower to supply fresh, local, premium quality fresh fish and vegetables year round!
Nelson and Pade, Inc.® has developed commercially-viable aquaponic systems for all applicaitons, based on science and proven fish-to-plant ratios and water flow dynamics. Our line of commercial Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® maximizes productivity and will quickly get a new commercial operation off to a good start. There is no reason to re-invent aquaponics. We have science-based, highly-efficient designs that use high quality components.
Aquaponics can fill a niche market for premium quality crops or it can provide staples for a village in a developing country. Most commercial growers use a greenhouse to protect the plants and fish from harsh environmental conditions and pest insects. In a greenhouse, floor space must be maximized to reduce costs and increase production.
The production can be very high in a commercial aquaponic system when plant spacing is maximized and the fish are fed a proper and balanced diet. The daily work involved in a commercial aquaponic venture includes feeding the fish and cleaning the filters, seeding, transplanting and harvesting the plants and packaging the produce for sale. The fish are harvested periodically, with the frequency dependant on the size of the system, the number of fish tanks and the market demand.
There is a growing need for aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The past several years of the fresh food industry have been marred by continued incidence of food contamination and consumer illness. Causes range from impure water to unsanitary conditions in fields and packing facilities, to imports that are not inspected. Nearly 99 % of the fresh food imported into the U.S. is not inspected. Much of this food, including what is labeled as organic, is coming from countries without strict safety, nutritional or environmental regulations. Food grown in the U.S. that is processed in massive processing and packaging facilities has proven to be susceptible to contamination as well.
In a controlled environment greenhouse, a grower has the ability to enforce a bio-security program that will keep the food free of contamination. In addition, the ability to be close to the marketplace eliminates the long-distance travel (on average over 2,000 miles) that most fresh food travels in the U.S.
In addition to assembly and operation manuals, Nelson and Pade, Inc.® systems come with detailed Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manuals. This information and documentation is essential for a commercial grower for the purpose of demonstrating food safety.
An aquaponic farm can be a rewarding and profitable business for a family or corporate enterprise. An aquaponic grower can also tap into agri-tourism and earn extra income from it.