The term Hydroponics is broad as it is claimed that even plants grown on other medium such as sand and gravel are considered hydroponics by others this was highly objected by Gericke who first defined Hydroponics as a technique of growing plants without soil but purely on water using mineral nutrient solutions. He asserts that using sand which is also classified as soil is not purely Hydroponics in itself although the mineral nutrient solution is used. He contends that even those using other media like peat or other soilless medium actually provided some of the mineral nutrients needed by the plant thru the fertilizer releases in trickle and decaying substances of the medium itself and this also provided some nitrogen to the plant under growth. Based on this, Hydroponics consists of subsets of soilless culture under the given circumstances. There are also soilless culture being practiced that mineral nutrient solutions is not being utilized so that though these are termed as Hydroponics, technically they are not as defined by Gericke.
There are two amazing qualifications that made Hydroponics popular and have gain the trust of the agricultural sector of our society, one, its production is stable and this is the first priority of any nation, that is, to provide a stable production of crops to assure the feeding of its people. Along this line Hydroponics had made tremendous advances and was proven to be definitely practical and have been identified with tested advantages over the traditional methods of soil agriculture. Second, Hydroponics can be applied in areas where the conventional soli in ground agriculture is impossible, like rocky or stony ground. This was proven on what happened on Wake Island, a rocky place in the Pacific Ocean in the 1930s where the island was utilized for Hydroponics agriculture raising vegetables to supply the needs of the workers and passengers of Pan American Airlines. The island was the being used as a refueling stop over for the airline and since there was no soil in the island to plant vegetables, the price of transporting fresh vegetables to the island is very expensive and Hydroponics supplied the solution to the lack of soil that deprived the island of vegetables.
Presently, hydroponics is considered a branch of agronomy and large commercial enterprises have adopted it in the production of farm fresh goods. Like for example the tomatoes which are produced in tons after tons in Wilcox, Arizona by Eurofress Farms, the world’s biggest commercial producer using the hydroponics technique of farming which sold around 200 million kilograms of their tomatoes produce in 2008. The firm is using glass to cover a total of 318 acres of hydroponics farmland which equals to about one third of the total hydroponic greenhouses in the U.S. that commercially produces tomatoes. While Eurofress Farms do not claim to have organic tomatoes in their farm, they promote that their products are pesticide free as they are not using chemical pesticide materials. The farm is using rock wool as medium for the plant and they supply the mineral nutrient solution requirement of the plant via waste technique.
Hydroponics has indeed created a sensation in the farming industry, it does not only solve the problem on the impossibility of planting vegetable on rocky areas but guarantee as well a stable and high yielding agricultural productions.