CHiPS Scope 3: Outdoor Container Farms
Outdoor container farms are subject to all the pest pressure present on conventional soil-based farms. Instead of growing in soil in the earth, Scope 3 hydroponic farms typically cover the ground with plastic or other impermeable material to prevent weed growth, then place containers — typically plastic bags like those shown in the image above — on top of the plastic sheeting. Plastic lines distribute nutrient solution to the gravel, coconut husk or other media that fills the Crops roots may derive some nutrition from the container media, but typically the plants cannot survive thrive without constant liquid feeding. CHiPS Scope 3 operations must use only OMRI listed or NOP inputs including pesticides and fertilizers. The soil under Scope 3 farms cannot be treated with toxic pesticides prior to placement of plastic coverings.
Stakeholder meetings on Scope 3 will begin in 2013. Contact the Alliance to request a copy of the Scope 3 early draft standard for review and comment.