Hydroponic fodder production involves supplying cereal grain with necessary moisture and nutrients, to enable germination and plant growth in the absence of a solid growing medium. The resulting green shoots and root mat are harvested and fed to livestock. The grain responds to the supply of moisture and nutrients by germinating, sprouting and then producing a 200 – 250mm long vegetative green shoot with interwoven roots within 7 to 8 days
The fodder is grown on trays in a growing unit under controlled environment and only supplied with water at predetermined times during the day.
Commonly grown fodder crops under this method are Maize, barley, wheat and sorghum. Hydroponic fodders is ready for feeding in 7days. The end result is a network of roots and a green mat of green sprouts which is fed wholesome and provides high nutritional content.
Characteristics of hydroponic grown fodder
· Highly rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes.
· Hydroponic fodder is 80% to 85% digestible
· Hydroponic fodder contains high quality protein
· High energy content
· High in moisture content that prevents colic.
Fodder Alternative – A highly nutritious and digestible fodder is provided daily on your property to be used in conjunction with other feed or as an alternative to them. The cost per kilogram is very competitive – depending largely upon the current prices of the seed grain.
Drought Proofing – The conversion of seed grain into succulent fodder by a factor of six to one has much appeal during drought or normal dry summer periods.
Management Tool – To have such a fodder available 365 days of the year allows farm managers to drop lambs, calves, etc at an optimal time to meet market peaks, as well as having the comfort of being able to produce fat stock that has a consistent quality.
Productivity in a Shed – Owners of small properties now have the means to economically increase their stock numbers without having to lot feed or the need to purchase additional land.