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Hydroponic Fodder

Hydroponic Fodder

Hydroponic fodder is the tender, young sprouts of cereal grains, most often barley. It can replace a portion of other fodder and concentrates for beef and dairy cattle, and poultry. Grain is sprouted in treated trays without soil and sprayed with a nutrient-rich water solution at predetermined intervals. The temperature and humidity inside the hydroponic fodder system are carefully controlled to ensure a high growth rate and the best nutritional value possible. Such systems can be almost completely automated.

After approximately seven days, the fodder is harvested and fed to livestock. Everything is eaten, roots, leaves, everything reducing waste to near zero. Hydroponic fodder systems offer a number of additional advantages: With very low evaporation water consumption can be reduced by as much as 98 percent over traditional, field-grown fodder. Hydroponic fodder can be prodiced in a small footprint. A 9 by 6 meter shed can grow as much fodder as 1200 acres of pasture. Hydroponic fodder is a highly nutritious feed, which produces the highest protein and is very rich in vitamins such as B-carotene, trace elements, hormones, growth factors and enzymes. Reduction or elimination of the need for pesticides and herbicides as the fodder is grown in a protected environment. Hydroponics is a year-round growing system that produces a consistent quantity and quality of plant material, regardless of outside weather. Fodder can be grown adjacent to where it is consumed. This eliminates CO2 emissions resulting from transportation of field-grown feed. Hydroponicically-grown fodder avoids disturbing soil as in field-grown feed, lessening CO2 emissions. Hydroponic fodder production is best-suited to semi-arid, arid, and drought-prone regions of the world.

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