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Continuous hydroponic wheat production using a recirculating systemContinuous crop production, where plants of various ages are growing simultaneously in a single recirculating nutrient solution, is a possible alternative to batch production in a Controlled Ecological Life Support System. A study was conducted at John F. Kennedy Space Center where 8 trays (0.24 sq m per tray) of Triticum aestivum L. Yecora Rojo were grown simultaneously in a growth chamber at 23 C, 65 percent relative humidity, 1000 ppm CO2, continuous light, with a continuous flow, thin film nutrient delivery system. The same modified Hoagland nutrient solution was recirculated through the plant trays from an 80 L reservoir throughout the study. It was maintained by periodic addition of water and nutrients based on chemical analyses of the solution. The study was conducted for 216 days, during which 24 trays of wheat were consecutively planted (one every 9 days), 16 of which were grown to maturity and harvested. The remaining 8 trays were harvested on day 216. Grain yields averaged 520 g m(exp -2), and had an average edible biomass of 32 percent. Consecutive yields were unaffected by nutrient solution age. It was concluded that continual wheat production will work in this system over an extended period of time. Certain micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities posed problems and must be addressed in future continuous production systems.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Mackowiak, C. L.
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL., United States)
Owens, L. P.
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL., United States)
Hinkle, C. R.
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL., United States)
Prince, R. P.
(NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1989
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:102784
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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