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Crop Production without Soil


THE tenets of water culture are known to plant physiologists from an extensive literature. The first papers appeared more than three-quarters of a century ago. Although water cultures are used widely in experimental studies of plant physiology and soil science, the literature is singularly devoid of any suggestion of the economic possibilities of the method—crop production without soil. A brief paper in 1929 was the first announcement that crop production by water culture is practicable1. Beginning in 1935, a number of growers, convinced that the method had possibilities, established the first production plants ; these are under the author's supervision and, although organized as commercial ventures, are administered as the author's experiments. The largest plant covers two acres.


  1. Gericke, W. F., "Aquiculture—A Means of Crop Production", Amer. J. Bot., 16, 862 (1929).

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  2. Gericke, W. F., "Hydroponics—Crop Production in Liquid Culture Media", Science, 85, 177 (1937).

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GERICKE, W. Crop Production without Soil. Nature 141, 536–540 (1938).

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