START YOUR OWN HYDROPONICS BUSINESS OR WORK IN A MANAGEMENT ROLE IN THE INDUSTRY
What will this course do for you?
On the business side:
- Develop business skills.
- Develop Management skills
- Develop marketing skills.
On the Hydroponics side:
- Learn the basics of hydroponics
- Learn to formulate and manage nutrients
- Learn about the various types of hydroponic systems
- Learn about media and plant culture
- Learn to grow specific crops
- Learn to manage hydroponics systems
- Learn to manage a greenhouse
- Do an industry project to give you an insight and edge in the industry
Plus lots more.
You may have already developed some of the skills and
experienced required for the core units - if so you are eligible to
apply for Recognition of Prior Learning - each unit you gain credits for will also lower the course fees - ask us how.
CORE UNITS Click on each module for more details
- Office Practices
Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.
- Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.
- Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.
- Marketing Foundations.
- Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.
1. HYDROPONICS I
There are ten lessons as follows:
2. How a Plant Grows
3. Hydroponic Systems
4. Nutrition & Nutrition management
5. Plant Culture
6. Hydroponic Vegetable Production
7. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production
8. Solid Media vs Nutrient Film
9. Greenhouse Operation & Management
10. Special Assignment
FOR MORE DETAILS ON THIS UNIT CLICK HERE
2. HYDROPONIC MANAGEMENT (Hydroponics II)
There are eleven lessons in this module as follows:
1. How the Crop Plant Grows: Understanding how a plant grows in hydroponics, plant growth factors, manipulating and controlling growth, plant troubleshooting, resources, fruit set management, pollination issues, flower initiation, flower and fruit development etc.
2. How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial
3. Harvest and Post Harvest
6. Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops
7. Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)
FOR MORE DETAILS ON THIS UNIT CLICK HERE
3. PROTECTED PLANT PRODUCTION
There are seven lessons in this module as follows:
1. Structures for Protected Cropping
2. Environmental Control
3. Cladding Materials and their Properties
4. Irrigation and Nutrition
5. Relationship between Production techniques and Horticultural practices
6. Harvest and Post Harvest Technology
7. Risk Assessment
FOR MORE DETAILS ON THIS UNIT CLICK HERE
INDUSTRY PROJECT I & II OR WORK EXPERIENCE 200 hours
This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.
If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.
The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.
If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.
Procedure for a Workplace Project:
This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.
This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.
Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.
For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.
Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.
If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).
Study Can Help Reduce Risk and Limit Potential Mistakes
Commercial hydroponics is not just about setting up and operating hydroponic systems. If you are to be successful and run a viable operation you must learn to do a number of other things:
- Select the right crops to grow
- Have a workable physical layout
- Manage your staff and finances properly
- Market your produce properly.
DECIDING WHAT PLANTS TO GROW
When deciding what plants to grow in a commercial hydroponics farm, consider the following:
- Ease of propagation/cost of transplants. What will it cost to get your initial plants (in time or money)? If you plan to propagate yourself, how easy are the plants to propagate? Are the plants readily available? Is the recommended planting time the same as the time of year you plan to start your operation?
- How easy are these plants to grow? Do you or your staff have the expertise to grow these varieties? Difficult plants may be more costly to grow, and more risky to get a profit from, unless you have better than average skills.
- How long will the crop take to grow? Some plants produce a crop ready to sell within months, others take many years.
- Suitability to your facilities. Do you have the right buildings, equipment and other facilities to grow the particular plants under consideration? Do you have the money and space to provide those facilities?
- Suitability of climate. What plants are most suitable to grow in your climate?
- Your environment. It is always more efficient to work with the environment rather than trying to recreate different environments.
- Are other competent growers already producing the crop you would prefer to grow? Can you establish a fair share of the market?
- Distance from potential markets. Transport is costly, and can be risky. What other alternatives are available?
- Are profits (in addition to wages) likely to be an adequate or reasonable return on your investment in terms of time and money?
The skills of your staff. Don’t try to do what you are not skilled to do. Someone with better skills will probably do it better and cheaper.
What can you do when you have completed this course:
- Set up your own business.
- Progress your current career in this field.
- Start a new career with management potential in this field
HYDROPONICS IS A FAST DEVELOPING INDUSTRY THAT NEEDS WELL EDUCATED EMPLOYEES
- BE PART OF THIS EXCITING INDUSTRY.
LET US HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS!
|ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.|
|John Mason is fellow of the CIH. |
|Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.|
|ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member. |