Today we shall be looking at the pros and cons of greenhouses. A clear understanding of what we can expect from these farming structures can help us determine whether or not we shall be venturing into agriculture as a business. This is the case with the other types of farming as-well-as an investor, you can only work with what is bound to profit you.
The Pros of Greenhouses
The advancement of technology has helped revolutionize agriculture to a great extent, and it has also magnified the benefits to be realized as well. With greenhouses, for instance, one can expect the following benefits:
Greenhouse farming essentially involves the implementation of very intensive agriculture techniques and is therefore bound to increase the capacity of crop production per unit of land. This is mainly as a result of the fact that the farmers in this setting have more control over the conditions that are needed for the growth of the plants. At the end of each season, the farmers can expect more produce per square foot, in comparison to those grown in open fields.
The minimization of the production risks
Farmers have a better chance of preventing crop damage in an enclosed space than is the case when open space is involved. The sudden spike in temperatures can be controlled, and the crops be saved, which is something that may not be close to possible in the open field setting.
Maximization of profits
It goes without much emphasis that where there are higher crop yields, then higher profits can be expected as well. With the use of strategies such as hydroponics, farmers can double or triple the production of the crops they are tending to while keeping the wastage of resources at the lowest level possible. This definitely translates into higher profits.
Better control over pests, weeds, and diseases
Greenhouses are usually built in such a way that makes it easy for the farmers to control pests, weeds, and crop diseases. An enclosed set up is one in which all the unwanted elements can be attacked with higher precision, and with better results. The advent of new pest, weed, and disease control technology has even made it easier for farmers to minimize (and eliminate) the use of pesticides and herbicides.
The ability to grow crops all-year-round, not just when they are in season
With a greenhouse, you can create your microclimate, which is totally different from what is being experienced outside. This, to a great extent, eliminates the limitations that would arise from the farmers waiting for certain seasons to arrive so they can grow their crops. Even in the very harsh winters or summers, farmers can grow crops very effectively, provided that all the growth conditions are met.
Financial security and stability are enhanced
Since the farmers in this case do not have to wait for certain seasons to arrive for them to profit, their financial situation is bound to improve quite drastically. With time, they can easily progress to managerial positions, as they pay other skilled laborers money to attend to the crops.
The cons of greenhouses
Despite there being some benefits that are worth taking advantage of, we cannot also forget to highlight the downsides to greenhouse farming that can possibly bring one down if they are not well-prepared. These include:
The initial investment costs are quite high
Greenhouse structures and designs are quite expensive, which is something that can prevent a significant number of farmers from venturing into greenhouse farming even when they have the will to do so. This is why greenhouses are actually recommended for the production of crops that are highly profitable so that the farmers can recoup the invested capital as soon as is possible.
The design and location of the greenhouse
Setting up a greenhouse calls for one to take into account some very fine details and elements, including the location of the structure, the crops to be grown, as well as the technology to be utilized. If you do not get certain factors right, right from the beginning, then it is highly likely that you will not succeed, and this will essentially mean that you will have wasted your money.
The production costs are high
The initial setup costs of the greenhouse are not the only high costs that are associated with running a greenhouse. You will also realize sooner than later that the operational costs are also relatively higher than those of the in-field production setups. You will, for instance, have to spend money on electricity and gas to maintain the temperature and humidity within the greenhouses at ideal levels.
A higher level of skills needed
Greenhouse owners usually employ workers who they entrust with the crop production. Those who are employed in such a setup should see to it that every problem that arises is fixed immediately. There are, therefore, needed to be very familiar with crop production, so that they can identify the problems as they arise.
Higher risk of the spread of diseases
Just as it is easy for diseases and pests to be controlled in the enclosed environment, it is also equally easy for diseases to be spread in the same environment. We do know that there are safety measures that are implemented in greenhouses to see to it that pests are contained, but if new pests are introduced to the environment and they go undetected then they can wreak havoc within a very short period and can lead to very significant losses.
One needs to have a ready market
To take advantage of greenhouse farming, one needs to also have the distribution and selling operations in place. The ability to sell the produce to willing buyers at high prices is the secret ingredient to being successful as a farmer in greenhouse farming. Planting crops that have a short life span and that can be commercialized quickly should be followed up with the establishment of a reliable market, so that one can keep their cash flows positive
The knowledge of the pros and cons of greenhouses is one way or another bound to sway your decision about whether or not you will take a leap into greenhouse farming. Is it the best approach to produce more food or make more money in this sector? Check out my recommended read (and audio) below:
That will be all for this article about the pros and cons of greenhouses. Any pros and cons that you think should be on this list? Feel free to drop it in the comments section right away. Sharing is caring, they said, so I am sure someone else will benefit from what you will offer.
I wish you well,
Eric, Investor, and Team Member at Gold Retired!