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Weighing the Options

Jennifer Polanz
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I don’t mind telling you, a LOT changed in vehicle technology in more than a decade.

Last summer I bought a new-to-me vehicle. This is not a humble brag; my previous vehicle, a sturdy and functional yet suffering Camry, had 14 years of wear and tear on it and it was time for a change.

I was still inserting a key into the ignition in my old ride (how archaic!). I turned around to see what was behind me while backing out (confession, I still do that even though I have one of those fancy back-up cameras—old habits die hard). And I was listening to FM radio (horror of horrors). The truth is, you don’t really know how much things have advanced until you jump into something new. This Gen Xer still laments the lack of a CD player, though, proving not everything that’s new is better.

The question is, when do you pull the trigger on something new? How long do you sink money into repairing and maintaining something dated when there’s new technology to be had? It’s a question that no one can answer but the person with the cash about to be dropped. It’s an interesting conundrum, though, as we talk about some of the stories in this issue, which all really have to do with improving your growing facility to create optimal environments. None of them are free, though, and so it’s paramount to weigh your options to determine where to make the investments and when.

Starting off, I took a hard look at water quality for this issue. This is the lifeblood of our industry, especially when it comes to hydroponic and aquaponic systems. If you don’t have a “clean” system, not much else matters, both because of plant health and customer health. You can find our cover story, “What’s in Your Water?”

In Part 2 of a four-part series from university researchers, they answer questions on lighting, CO2 injection and more. Then head over to technical freelancer David Kuack’s exploration into nutrient mixes to find out if you have the right mix going.

Are you not quite ready to take the plunge into LED lights? Like we talked about above, that’s some technology that’s really advanced over the past decade. The folks at Fluence understand it might not be an option to go all-in at once, so they’ve given us a rundown on what to think about when creating a hybrid situation.

Of course, we wrap up the issue with more from Dr. Brian Corr’s cannabis chapter in the 19th edition of the Ball RedBook

There’s a lot of new technology to explore out there. As for me? I’m happy to answer Bluetooth phone calls and rock out to SiriusXM. Who knew? IG

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