Greenhouse Hydroponic Production: The Evaluation of Tools, Methods and Guidance: A SWOT Analysis

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Virginia Tech


Hydroponic crops are growing popularity as consumer awareness increases recognizing the need of sustainable and safe food practices. Hydroponic production is considered a ‘high-­‐tech’ production system to many small farmers. The need to diversify remains within the farmer’s mind, while regulatory bodies seem to be more in support of mono cropping as industry guidance changes. The recent implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act has small farmers in fear of being pushed out of the supply chain. Hydroponic crop production can provide these small farmers with the opportunity to remain diversified, while producing the yields necessary to meet their monetary needs. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide insight on the need in maintaining diversity acknowledging the small farmer’s values, while incorporating necessary food safety and food defense. The evaluation and determination of the most valuable tools and guidance was made.



hydroponics, sustainable farming, agricultural education, biodiversity, food safety, food defense