Cranberry production – the potential for using hydroponics

  • 40 pages

  • Published: 9 Jan 2009

  • Author(s): Dennis, Christina

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This report details a short term project to evaluate the potential for hydroponic cranberry production in Australia. The project successfully demonstrated that cranberries can be grown hydroponically. However a number of potential constraints to commercialisation have been identified.

An opportunity exists for growers and investors in the horticulture industry to develop and market fresh cranberries. They would make a welcome addition to Australian fresh berries, and would add to the growing demand for ‘nutraceuticals’ and functional foods. With increased production, processed and value-added products could be developed and potentially replace imported processed cranberry products.

Cranberries have traditionally been grown in natural marshes and wetlands, many of them natural peat bogs, where the moisture and decaying organic matter create ideal growing conditions for these plants. The high capital costs, combined with environmental concerns and limitations, would preclude traditional cranberry production in Australia; however cranberries are likely to be ideally suited to hydroponics.