It is a well accepted fact that feeding Farm animals is incomplete without including green fodder in their diet. Green fodders are staple feed for farm animals. For economical and sustainable Animal husbandry, fodder production round the year is highly essential.

The Hydroponic Fodder  as an alternative to conventional method of green fodder production, hydroponics technology is coming up to grow fodder for farm animals. Green fodders produced by growing seeds without soil but in water or nutrients rich solutions are known as hydroponics green fodder. Compared to conventional methods of growing fodder, hydroponic fodder requires lesser space and produces highly nutritious fodder than soil farming.

The Hydroponic Fodder Growing System in simple way we can say that it consists of a framework of shelves on which plastic trays are stacked. After soaking overnight, a layer of seeds is spread over the base of the trays.  During the growing period, the seeds are kept moist, but not saturated. They are supplied with moisture usually via spray irrigation. Holes in the trays facilitate drainage of excess water. The seeds will usually sprout within 8 to 12 hours after soaking and in 7 days have produced a 8 to 10 inch high grass mat.

Hydroponic fodder is much more easily digestible, full of nutrients and enzymes that the energy spent on this digestion process would be far less with the resultant extra energy being diverted to milk production and growth.

Need of Hydroponic Technology in Green Fodder Production Hydroponics technology is required to overcome the following constraints for the production of quality green fodder.

  • In case of small land holdings. &  non-availability of fertile lands for green fodder cultivation.
  • When the irrigation/water facility, fencing, land preparations resources /labour are limited.
  • In mining and coastal belt areas where it has limited area for growing green fodder dairy industry.
  • In areas, where destruction of fodder is caused by stray cattle’s and other wild animals.
  • In regions, where dairy farmers spend higher cost for labour for green fodder cultivation.
  • In regions, where demand of green fodder is very high against existing availability of the fodder.

Benefits and Advantages of Hydroponics Green Fodder Production:- There are many advantages of hydroponic farming especially growing green fodder.

  • Water Saving: The hydroponic system requires only 2 to 3 liters of water to grow 1 kg of quality green fodder when compared to 55 to 75 liters of water used in conventional farming.

  • Utilization of Minimal Land: Generally, hydroponic greenhouse requires marginal land to cover the area of 10 meters x 5 meters for 1000 kg of green fodder per day per unit. In traditional farming it requires 1 hectare land.

  • Less Labour Requirement: In hydroponics, the labour required for green fodder production is about 2 to 3 hours a day where as conventional fodder production system requires continuous intense labour for cultivation to harvesting of the grass.

  • Less Time to Grow Green Fodder: To get the optimal growth stage of nutritious green fodder, it requires just over 7 to 8 days from seed germination to fully grown plant of 20 – 30 cm height. Constant supply of green fodder is possible round the year to meet the dairy industry demand.

  • Increased Nutritious Value: The green fodder grown from hydroponic system will be highly Nutritious as compared to conventionally grown fodder. So using, hydroponic grass, one can supply quality milk from dairy animals.

  • Minimal Loss of Green Fodder: Green fodder grown from hydroponic system will be fully utilized as there won’t be any loss of the green fodder during feeding. There would be wastage of chopped traditional green fodder or green grasses during consumption by the animal.

Fodder Farm Grow Fodder, Everyday
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