Water use & Conservation of water
- it requires just 2-3 ltrs of water to produce one kg of lush green fodder vs 60-80 lts for a conventional system of fodder production. Water left over in hydroponics is recycled to grow the fodder. Hydroponic fodder makes very use of water. There is little waste water, as animals consume the recirculated water along with the feed. Since production is hydroponic, there is no leaching of nutrients into the environment. Hydroponic fodder production requires considerably less land to produce feed for livestock.
Dry and drought-prone regions
- Hydroponic fodder production is probably best-suited to semi-arid, arid, and drought-prone regions of the world. By growing fodder indoors, crop failures would no longer be a risk. Good quality forage could be produced year-round, feed supplies would be insured and scarce water resources could be allocated more efficiently.
- In places where land values are extremely high or land is simply not readily available, hydroponic fodder has obvious advantages, as it can be produced in a small footprint. Because the fodder is produced continuously, there is no need for long-term feed storage and no nutrient losses that can be associated with feed storage. Hydroponics greenhouse requires marginal land to erect the system ie 10 mts x 4.5 mts land for 600 kg green fodder / day/ unit, in comparison to one hectare land for conventional green grass field. Reduction in the amount of land required for maximum fodder production is an asset for both regions where agriculture is difficult and densely populated areas that lacks sufficient growing space.
High alternative feed costs
- In most cases hydroponic fodder is very competitively priced against traditional fodder.
Increasing of nutritive value of fodder
- Through hydroponics it is possible to enhance the nutritive value by adding additional growth promoters, nutrients, etc to have quality milk from the dairy animals.
- Our close-by and delivery operations ensure that small-scale producers can be served on a daily basis.
- Hydroponic fodder may be best-suited to non-ruminants (horses, rabbits, pigs, and poultry) who would benefit more from the changes in the feed due to sprouting (e.g. less starch, more sugars) as compared to ruminants (sheep, goats, and cows) who are less efficient at digesting high quality feed.
Reduced labor requirement
- Conventional fodder production requires continuous daily labor from cultivation to harvesting of the grass, while hydroponics labor required is 2-3 hours / day only.
- Hydroponic fodder production seems particularly well-suited to organic producers, who already pay high prices for feed or have difficulty sourcing organic feedstuffs.
Reduction in growth time of green fodder
- To obtain nutritious fodder requires just over 7 days from seed germination to fully grown plant of 25 – 30 cm height. Biomass conversion ratio is as high as 7-8 times to traditional fodder grown for 60-80 days.
Green fodder year-round
- The technology can provide green fodder year-round. Constant supply can be organized irrespective of rain, storm, sunshine or drought.
Natural feed for animals
- Growing of green fodder through Hydroponics is entirely by natural sources. No pesticides are used that could contaminate milk and milk products.
Enhancement of milk production
- Green fodder fed to milk animals can compensate the concentrate feed so as to support economically viable milk-producing industry.
Minimizing loss of fodder
- Green fodder produced hydroponically will be fully utilized as there is no loss of fodder during feeding as compared to wastages of chopped traditional grasses during consumption by the animal.
In the future
- As competition for land and water increases and feed prices continue to rise, hydroponic fodder is a viable option for more livestock producers.