Hydroponic Fodder Benefits
GENERAL BENEFITS OF HYDROPONIC BARLEY FODDER
- The rapid, year-round production of fresh green feed is the main advantage of this aeroponic system.
- The green feed is highly palatable and both ruminants and monogastrics have greatly benefited from the introduction of the freshly grown, nutritious green feed in their daily diet.
- In terms of protein and energy, the contribution of green feed to the animal’s ration is tremendous. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and growth factors. Growth factors are protein molecules that are normally present in minute amounts in the animal’s bones, muscles, fat and most other tissues. There are several types of growth factors and their generic function is to induce mitosis (cell growth) in tissues.
- In many natural grass species, the protein content is relatively low and growth factors are not present in veld grass. Rich sources of growth factors include green feed, lucerne meal, fish soluble and milk; however, the best sources are those that are fresh and unprocessed.
- The occurrence of respiratory conditions is greatly reduced, because the green, aeroponic green feed is dust-free.
- Because it is grown naturally, there are no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or herbicides in the aeroponic green feed.
- The cause of most digestive and metabolic problems in ruminants is a grain-based diet. These problems can be solved by completely removing grain from the diet and feeding barley/oats green feed instead.
- In areas with poor or no grazing where farmers are heavily dependent on the rainfall, aeroponic green feed production is an attractive, profitable and financially viable alternative.
- Our recommendation is to produce barley/oats green feed aeroponically, because it is less expensive and highly nutritious.
There are many advantages to aeroponic green feed production. These include the following:
- Guaranteed year-round green feed supply, irrespective of environmental conditions.
- GreenFeed™ Growing Systems ensures constant high quality of green feed.
- No long-term storage of large quantities of feed is necessary, therefore there is no nutrient loss, no fire hazard and no feed becoming rancid or mouldy.
- In the controlled environment the feed output can be regulated and controlled to fulfil livestock needs.
- The systems are labour- and cost-effective due to the small area required.
- 1 kg of dry barley/oats seed yields between 6 and 6.5 kg of green feed.
- The growing cost of GreenFeed™ Growing Systems would be approximately R0.42 per kg, or R420.00 per ton produced.
- The fibre-rich root system is also consumed – therefore there is no nutrient wasting.
- There is no more costly soil preparation, planting, irrigation, fertilising, mowing, windrowing, baling and hammer milling.
- The system can help the farmer produce 1 to 200 tons of aeroponically grown barley/oats green feed per day, 365 days a year.
- A central computerised monitoring system makes the operation of the greenhouse simple. The maintenance of this system is not costly.
- The green feed produced is highly palatable, nutritious and contaminant-free.
- The process guarantees optimum production and accelerated growth.
- A high yield can be obtained in a very small area.
- The process requires low water and energy consumption.
- Low maintenance is required.
- The farmer knows exactly what the nutritional value is and what the feed came into contact with, which takes the guesswork out of feeding feeds from unknown sources.
- Ultra-premium feeds are grown.
- The green feed can be produced anywhere where water and power are available.
- There is almost no fuel costs related to cultivating and harvesting green feed in our GreenFeed™ Growing Systems grow rooms. The only fuel cost that may be incurred is that to transport the feed from the grow room to the animals.
- The GreenFeed™ Growing Systems grow room reduces fuel consumption and therefore reduces the carbon footprint of the farm.
- The GreenFeed™ Growing Systems vertical growing process allows the production of large volumes of fresh green feed on a fraction of the area required by conventional cultivation.
- There is no need for constant weed removal, fencing, additional council rates or road maintenance.
- The occurrence of respiratory problems in both labourers and animals is virtually non-existent, because the GreenFeed™ Growing Systems grow room is dust-free.
- There is no damage from insects or free-roaming animals.
- Any water source can be used in the system, after our cleaning process is applied, which includes filtration, purification and sterilisation. The water can be applied and re-applied continuously.
- The GreenFeed™ Growing Systems ensures minimal water consumption and the little run-off irrigation water can be re-used in the grow room or used for animal consumption.
- 1 kg of green feed only requires 2 to 3 litres of water during its eight-day growth cycle. Conventional growing of green feed requires around 80 litres to produce the same quantity of green feed.