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Recycling water key to agriculture’s future

Nevadans know better than to count on the heavens to provide sufficient moisture for agriculture.

“With Nevada being the driest state in the country it is prudent for us to employ any and every practice to conserve water,” said Douglas County Extension Educator Steve Lewis. “Aquaponics is a perfect example of a fresh food production model that reuses every gallon of water roughly 10 times.”

The Agriculture Innovation Forum Series will focus 6 p.m. Tuesday on the system that links recirculating water from fish production with vegetable, flower and herbs production via hydroponics.

The featured speakers are Jake O’Farrell and Trevor Birba, co-managers of Dayton Valley Aquaponics. O’Farrell and Birba are sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs that have experience in season extending and resource conserving systems.

O’Farrell will introduce key elements and considerations of aquaponics operations such as growing plants in a soilless medium, nutrients in aquaculture effluent, plants and fish suited for this growing method, water quality goals, as well as filtration systems.

Birba will describe the business end of aquaponics with detailed cost and return figures.

Both speakers will tailor their remarks for those interested in starting small with minimal investment but will also be able to describe examples and components for state of the art systems including alternative energy inputs.

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