Growing hydroponic green fodder is gaining popularity as the day passes by. Hydroponic green fodder system has many benefits and through this system you can feed your animals with green fodder without the need of soil and the fodder is also highly nutritious as well as healthy for the animals.
Hydroponics is actually asubset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants withoutsoil. Green fodder is very important for raising milch animals and itprovides required nutrients and mineral for the animals.
Feeding cost is very highin raising animals, especially raising the dairy animals. Generallythe feed cost is about 70 to 75 percent of total milk cost, and thegreen fodder alone contributes 30 to 35 percent of total feed costs.
Currently, rapidpopulation growth is the reason of lack of enough grazing land.That’s why there are a great shortage of land for producing greenfodder for the livestock animals. And this situation caused thelivestock farmers to look for alternative and sustainable method ofquality green fodder production.
Due to non-availabilityof irrigated lands, high labor costs and depleting natural resources,sustainable technology like ‘hydroponic green fodder’ productionwould be the key driver of the dairy industry in the future.
Using hydroponic greenfodder production technology for producing high quality green fodderwould be a revolutionary step in green fodder production.
Why do you needhydroponic green fodder technology?
You will need thehydroponic green fodder technology to overcome the followingconstraints for the production of quality green fodder, especially indairy farmers. However, you will need this system for the reasonslisted below;
- In case if you have less amount of land.
- If you don’t have enough fertile lands for producing green fodder.
- If you have limited facilities like irrigation, fencing and land preparations.
- If you live somewhere in mining and coastal belt areas where it has limited area for growing green fodder.
- In areas where labor costs are much higher for producing green fodder.
- In areas where demand for green fodder is much higher than existing availability of the fodder.
Using hydroponictechnology in dairy or livestock business
Growing hydroponic green fodder is very easy and simple, and you can start growing quality fodder for your animals very easily. Hydroponics is actually a scientific way of growing plants or crops in water without any soil in controlled environment. In this technology, water is enriched with well-balanced nutrients which are essential for the plant’s growth and better yield.
Whenit comes to green fodder production, hydroponic green fodderproduction technology takes the pressure off the land for growinggreen fodder for the livestock animals.
Foddercrops such as oats, maize,barley, sorghum and wheatcan be grown using the hydroponic green fodder production technology.
Hydroponic green fodderresults in good health of the livestock animals apart from high milkyield. This technology can also be used for growing wheat grass andpaddy saplings in just 7 to 10 days of time. Green fodder obtainedfrom hydroponics consists of grass with grains, roots, stem andleaves.
Whereas conventionallygrown fodder consists of stem and leaves only. However, here we aredescribing more about why hydroponic green fodder production systemplays major role in the dairy business.
Hydroponic green fodderproduction system allows growing green fodder at wider temperature inthe range of 15°C to 33°C and humidity range at 70-80 percentwithout fungal growth.
- The hydroponic green fodder production technology is environmental friendly.
- Fodder grown in this system is free from contamination.
- The fodder produced from this system saves water and labor costs.
- The fodder is highly nutritious and tasty for the animals.
- The green fodder from hydroponic system improves animal health and reproductive efficiency.
- Feeding the animals with hydroponic green fodder will result in higher milk yield in dairy animals.
Advantages ofhydroponic green fodder production
Hydroponic green fodderproduction system has many advantages. Here we are shortly describingabout the advantages of hydroponic green fodder production system.
Water saving:Hydroponic green fodder production system requires less amount ofwater. Generally the system requires only 2-3 liters of water forgrowing 1 kg of quality green fodder (when compared to 55 to 75liters of water used in traditional system of green fodderproduction). Apart from this, there will not be any water wastage asthe water is always recycled.
Require less labor:The hydroponic system generally require less labor. The laborrequired for green fodder production is about 2-3 hours a day,whereas conventional fodder production requires continuous intenselabor.
Requires less land:The hydroponic green fodder production system generally requiresminimum amount of land. Generally an area of 50 square meter will beenough for producing 600 to 650 kg of green fodder. But for producingsame amount of green fodder, you will need to have about 1 hectareland. So, hydroponic system require less amount of land.
The system less time:Traditional fodder production system generally require more than 45days for producing green fodder. Whereas hydroponic system generallyrequire 7 to 8 days for seed germination to fully grown plant of 8-12inches height.
Round the yearproduction: This is another advantage ofhydroponic green fodder production. You can actually produce thefodder throughout the year.
Increased nutritiousvalue: The fodder produced from hydroponicsystem is highly nutritious for the animals as compared toconventionally grown fodder. So you can supply quality milk from youranimals by using hydroponic green fodder.
Minimal loss of greenfodder: The green fodder produced from thehydroponic system will be fully utilized, because there won’t beany loss of the green fodder. But there would be wastage of choppedtraditional green fodder or green grasses during consumption by theanimals.
Faster growth and highyield: The hydroponic system has fastergrowth rate as compared to traditional system. And you can producefodder for your animals faster than the conventional system.
Natural green foddersupply: The green fodder produced from thissystem is completely by natural source and to pesticides or chemicalfertilizers are used in the production.
Tips for hydroponicgreen fodder production
Follow the tips mentionedbelow for growing hydroponic green fodder.
- Apply fungicidal solution like Effective microorganism to be applied in order to avoid fungal growth in this system.
- When compared to yellow maize, white maize or corn seeds were found to have better germination rate.
- Change/replace the water after every 3 days.
- Selection of seeds should be free from impurities for avoiding clogging of foggers to produce quality feed.
- The leaves will become yellow due to excessive sunlight outside of green house.
As the irrigated land andfertile lands are limited and as land prices are going up, so thefarmers have to apply new methods for growing green fodder. And thehydroponic green fodder production technology can be a very goodalternative way of producing green feeds for the animals.