GRASS FODDER BY HYDROPONICS
IN 8 DAYS.
Grass fodder is used as an animal feed and can be produced in great numbers within 8 days from seed to grass for all livestock & even quicker with Co2 added. Various varieties of grass fodder include, but are not limited to, barley, oat grass, lucerne grass, rye grass or whatever grass one wishes to grow in ones country. Growing grass fodder hydroponically is now becoming popular in drought prone areas but growing hydroponic grass fodder can require a large investment in a commercial hydroponic greenhouse. In places like NZ & Australia the cost to setup are too high and where the buyer is at the mercy of expensive materials, goods and services costs, franchises or grain that can climb within 1 year. This makes grass growing not very feasible. For commercial setups we import all our materials from overseas, we make our own plastic tanks and we are offering you the farmer an alternative in countries reknown for drought conditions. Australia & USA have been making this grass fodder for quite a number of years now and the USA sell systems on the back of trucks or in shipping containers & in India they use large glassed front coke fridges to sprout so theres many ways one can start the seed raising if they want to without buying expensive system setups. We like to help the small hobby farmer in arid countries but we specialize in large commercial grass fodder production ona big scale mainly in the middle east.
NUTRIENTS AND PH REQUIREMENTS
With water ph is very impotant to balance acid-alkaline so in arid countries bores need to be tested. Theres some simple ways by using litmus tape to change the colour of the tape (nitrazene) to testing using a chemical that changes the colour of the water. Theres also measuring devices you can buy but whatever you use your must test the nutrient water every 3-4 days. You then need to find out what youre growing to what ph you will need? Below 7 is acid and above 7 alkaline so drop a few drops of suphuric acid in a quart of water will drop 1 point?? & nitrate lifts the ph. All round plants enjoy a 6.5ph but with grasses you need to find out from your stockist.
Nutrients come in powder or granula form so you can mix the appropriate mixture to feed your plants and this can be twice a day but for grass we have a micro trickle to dampen the seed beds continuouly. You can buy a timer to control the pump to operate 2 times per day for garden veges.
BUILDING YOUR HYDROPONIC GREENHOUSE: the home handyman way
Hydroponics has been around since babylon days & is the art of growing plants and grass without soil---very easy. In soil the plants are supported & in water you need a medium for the plant to grow to stop it moving and for support which can be eg perlite, vermeculite, stones, water perferated material, cellulose which is bio degradable & edible etc just to support the plant. For water travelk use plastic piping and PVC and no metal coupling or taps as copper , zinc & iron corrode. Try the lawn sprinklers or micro mist sprinklers its up to you really.
Tank supplies well check our out but you need a collection tank and then a recovery tank and depending on the size of your operation min of at least 1000 litres for both.
For the home gardener growing its easy and its an art as theres so many systems good and bad in the world today. There are a vast array of hydroponic techniques, with many saying they have the right formula but done right and you see the results, then its all worth it. But its a matter of starting small to see if you actually like the idea, if it suits your needs, time and pocket.
Small kits are available for the home gardener but on a major scale its not practical as the costs are far too exepensive for what youre getting.
The installation of the building and complete system in western countries can cost $50,000 - 150,000 ouch!!! for just a small setup but remember you need Council approval in the West and the costs for most are not cheap at all and some will try to lock you in to buy shares etc so then you have to buy off them. In Australia same deal and in the USA you can do cheaper due to the availablility of materials online & they sell complete systems to the home handyman. On top of this is the cost of the concrete base, the green house material costs and the costs if you use alternative power means like solar power and windmill for your pumping but remember electricity is a must & the others are good for backup etc. The ongoing running costs are the cost of the nutrients, electricity, gas, tray replacement and seed - but also remember these costs will vary with the number of cattle, sheep, goats, horses being fed. The biggest cost factor will be the barley and oat seeds which will vary every year but you will need storage if you are buying in for the year at harvest time which is practical and you can buy from stock agents by ordering. Other major costs are that of quality nutrients, PH levels maintained, electricity to run the cooling and watering system. Anheuser-Busch provide good-quality barley seed at a good price in the USA & so do we. However on the good side once you have your system & water supply worked out the ongoing expense is minimal apart from the seed buying & the time per day spent is minimal. However we have our own Oat producing farms . All in all its a fun way to grow in arid places to have such a system
The installation of the building and complete system complete and all systems go this is what one can now save. The system itself only needs one person to run it so the cost to maintain labour is minimal. If one has an adequate water supply then you have no worries with water your main source. Closer to agents and where you live is an added plus as your delivery costs are reduced. Alternate power sources again drop the cost but whatever you think regarding the costs etc you make it up on the fact you have feed all year round-- your stock are healthy and easy to care for and you do not have the problems faced with grazing animals on arid country. No worries with pests, disease, mother nature & droughts but read on.
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