Floating Rafts Technology has been developed at the University of Arizona (U.S.A.) and at Italian Research Centers in the late seventies and has been adapted to commercial production by HydroNov Inc. from Mirabel, Canada. Since 1988, Floating Rafts Technology has been installed over thirty hectare (30ha) (3,000,000 square feet) of greenhouse in Canada, U.S.A., Mexico and Asia and has been used successfully to grow butter head and curly lettuces at a rate never reached before. Floating Rafts Technology has also been used for demonstration of public interest in EPCOT CENTER, Florida, U.S.A.
Floating Rafts Growing Technology is certainly the most water conscious system among existing hydroponic growing systems. One of its key features is the use of a large volume of water allowing enormous buffer for fertilization and oxygen control as well as economic plants transportation by flotation. This large buffer brings a level of security and easiness that no other growing system can match. Although large volume of water is required at the beginning for filling up growing beds, equipment and know-how developed by HydroNov Inc. allow user to grow crop after crop, year after year, without having to discard any water. We just keep adding as much fresh water as plants required through evapo-transpiration. Absolutely no water is lost through soil or growing media, no direct evaporation to the sun, no dumping of growing solution, no dripping gutters; just plants' needs.
In terms of output, Floating Rafts Growing Technology will produce four times more than any soil-based growing techniques. Up than 500 heads of lettuce and 40 Kg of baby leaf can be produced from each square meter of production area on a yearly basis. Particularly well adapted for the production of any leafy vegetables, Floating Rafts Growing Technology is also a potential winner for the production of fruits and flowers and for plants' propagation.