Lack of financial information is of the biggest stumbling blocks in aquaponics. University of Hawai’i recently released a tool that should help with that: a financial modeling tool for aquaponics.
This tool is an Excel spreadsheet built from real-life data. UH scientists collected info from a number of AP farms in Hawai’i to learn how individual financial components– like labor costs, price of materials, etc– affect financial outcomes. Of course most locations have very different costs of living, shipping, and food prices than Hawai’i, so the model allows for you to input costs for your own area.
UH also has a cool little presentation on basic AP costing from two farms in Hawai’i in Guam. It’s eight minutes and a really great demo of how different market conditions can drastically affect the profitability of an individual farm.
I’m happy to announce, with Indoor Ag, this very cool infographic about different types of fish for aquaponics. The fish used in aquaponics will have a huge influence on both the engineering and marketing approach, yet there’s not a lot of information out there about how species choice affects an operation. Voilà! The infographic was born.
Aquaponics is a compelling concept, but solid technical information can get lost in the romance.* Indoor Ag is all about the nuts and bolts of making aquaponics, and other areas of indoor agriculture, work. If you like this infographic, check out their white paper on indoor agriculture, their general resources page, and their upcoming conferences in NYC and Las Vegas.
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*Did you know that by the time water’s warm enough for tilapia to grow at a commercially viable rate, it’s too warm for lettuce? You’ll wind up with catastrophic losses from Pythium root rot at those temperatures. (That info’s available for free from university extension publications and public libraries. Yet I’ve never seen a single aquaponics class, equipment supplier, internet forum, or “guru” mention the temperature problem. Think about that for a moment.) It’s a real pleasure being able to work with Indoor Ag to help overcome some of these informational hurdles and get urban and indoor agriculture moving forward.