Hydroponic farming could present an answer for farmers trying to find a way to grow crops in areas decimated by drought. Hydronics are a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.
As The Rural Blog reports, the idea is catching on in places like Egypt that are strapped for H2O. And some farmers in the U.S. are now looking to the technique as a solution for drought-ridden regions.
However, this possible answer has given rise to a battle over whether hydroponic crops can be certified organic.
Hydroponic farmers say their method doesn’t involve planting, and thus protects soil. They claim their products are organic because they don’t utilize synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
But critics say organic farming was built on nurturing soil health. They’re worried that cheaper hydroponic goods will undercut traditional organic prices.