It’s no fish tale; farming fish can help grow plants. Researchers at University of New Hampshire are working on an aquaponics farming project that aims to provide a model for integrating land-based aquaculture systems with hydroponic plant production that can be used locally to increase food production. Specifically, researchers are using nutrients to grow plants that come from fish in a recirculating aquaponic system. The project recently grew Boston butter head lettuce in 35 days from seed to harvest using only nutrients from the fish. They are also using the system to grow strawberries. Fish used in the system include tilapia, brown trout, and rainbow trout. The researchers, which are a part of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH, look at integrated farming systems as a way to improve energy and resource utilization, and offer an opportunity to monetize otherwise costly treatment processes.
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