Hydroponics brings new business, farming methods to Rayville

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RAYVILLE, LA (05/19/20) Traditional agriculture has been and continues to be a major staple of Richland Parish. A new form of farming is turning heads… of lettuce and of those in the community. DAKKS’s Produce is a new business in Rayville that opened a couple months ago. They are switching to a non-traditional farming method, large scale hydroponics.

“I don’t come from a farming background, you know, it’s just something that I saw as a need” Austin Jackson, Co-Owner of DAKK’s Produce said.

With the same basic principles in mind, the process leaves behind soil, pesticides and the mercy of Mother Nature.

“It all starts with our nutrient solutions that we mix, It’s a thin film of water that runs down through the channels that provides our plants with exactly what they need to grow happy and healthy, and you know, clean. With us growing in hydroponics, with it being closed in a greenhouse, we’re able to provide the environment that’s optimum for the growth, the health and the safety of these plants” Jackson said.

This, in addition to time and patience, has yielded large crops since opening within the last few months.

“In this facility, we can do 3600 head a month” Jackson said.

They’re also changing what is typically grown in the parish.

“We do lettuce, we do arugula, we’ve tried some basil” Jackson said.

The process of harvesting is as easy as pulling and going, and so far it’s making a huge splash across the community.

They already supply many local chefs, as well as the community, with their leafy greens.

“We import a lot of lettuce we eat from Mexico and Central America, and so it’s so refreshing to see a local former or a local small business person start something from scratch where we’re providing healthy, safe product to the community and it has a tremendous local economic benefit” Scott Franklin, Chairman of the Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce said.

They are also planning on expanding their hydroponic farm over the next few months, with their new greenhouse able to produce up to 10,000 heads of lettuce per month.

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