Tuesday, June 5, 2012

High-tech farming

The Today, traditional methods of farming are gradually giving way to high technology farming or high-tech farming due to land constraints. This type of farming uses modern machinery and farm chemicals to obtain maximum output from a given plot of land or a group of animals. Countries that practise high-tech farming include the United states of Amerca, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Fruit and vegetable farming
Two methods of high-tech farming have been found to be effective in producing more fruits and vegetables. They are hydroponics and aeroponics. Both methods differ from traditional methods of farming in that they do not need soil and a large plot of land.

The word 'hydroponics' comes from two Greek word: hydro meaning 'water' and ponos meaning 'working water'. It is a technique of growing plants in a nutrient solution or fertilisers dissolved in water.

In a hydroponics farm, crops are cultivated in troughs filled with water in a nutrient solution that promotes plant growth. These crops are grown under carefully controlled conditions with the help of computers. The computers are used to monitor and adjust the nutrient solution and its temperature to ensure the best conditions for growth.

In aeroponics, the roots of the plants are suspended in the air. In an aeroponics farm, the air is cooled such that the conditions are similar to those in temperate regions. A nutrient solution is also sprayed onto the roots. This allows temperate crops such as strawberries to be grown in tropical regions.

Animal farming
Animals too can be reared the high-tech way. There are two types of animal rearing-- cattle farming and egg farming.

In traditional dairy cattle farming, farmers often woke up at the crack of dawn to milk their cows. It was a tedious and tiring task. However, with today's advanced technology, cows are housed in special stalls where they can be fed specific amounts of a special diet at exact times. The cows are milked by machines at appointed times everyday. Like vegetable farming, advancements in technology have enabled dairy farming yields to increase, while saving on labour and space. However, the costs involved in using the technology are high.

In a modern chicken farm, the hens are fed a special diet blended by computerised machines. The diet ensures the health of the mother hens and the nutritional value of the eggs When the eggs are laid, they roll onto a tray and may be collected by a moving conveyor belt.


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