Frequently Asked Questions – The Fodder-Pro Feed System
Designing the perfect Fodder-Pro Feed System to meet your needs is simple with the help of any of FarmTek’s knowledgeable fodder specialists. If you’re full of questions, but aren’t quite ready for a sales call, take a look at the answers to our frequently asked questions on our fodder systems. We’ll be here to answer any other questions you may have, and to help you design your own system when you’re ready to take the plunge!
All About Fodder
1. What is the digestibility of hay compared to fodder?
2. Do you have to use the fodder everyday or can it be stored?
The beauty behind fodder is that it is a fresh, live, green feed that is harvested on a daily basis. It is recommended that you utilize that feed within 48 hours. If you are traveling with your animals, fodder can be stored in a cooler.
3. How much of the fodder is water weight?
It depends on the type of seed and how you spread it in the channels. If you contact us, we can provide you with some feed and forage reports on some of the trials that we’ve done.
4. Can you let the fodder grow past seven days for more poundage?
In our trials we didn’t see a tremendous increase in poundage after the seven day mark. We tried it with many different types of seeds growing for eight days, ten days, fourteen days, etc. From what we saw in our trials, we feel that the seven day mark is really the optimum amount of time. It’s where you get the best bang for your buck, especially nutritionally.
5. How do you determine how much to feed animals like horses?
The rule of thumb for feeding fodder is 2% of the animal’s live body weight per day. We recommend consulting a vet or animal nutritionist before adding fodder to their diet. Fodder is a dietary supplement, feeding dry matter or roughage is still required for balanced nutrition.
Our Fodder-Pro Feed System
1. How is the product shipped?
2. Is assembly required?
Yes, assembly is required. The system comes palletized and we provide detailed assembly instructions with great pictures. If you have any questions, we’re here to help, so give us a call and we’ll walk you through it.
3. Is there any inorganic fertilizer added to the system or are the plants simply living off their seed energy reserves for the seven-day grow cycle?
Seed energy reserves, or seedling “battery packs,” provide all of the nutrients that a plant needs for the first two weeks of life. Since you’re harvesting after seven days, adding fertilizer is not something you need to worry about.
4. What is the output from the fodder system? How many pounds are produced daily?
Depending on the seed you’re using, you can anticipate about 125 lbs. per day from the Mini system and 250 lbs. per day with the Full system.
5. Can I try a small-scale trial program before going large scale?
Absolutely! We highly recommend that our customers test the water before jumping in with both feet.
6. I am interested in a large system. Can I expect the same production yields?
The yields will not be identical to a smaller system, but they are comparable.
7. What is the maximum size system you can build?
Any size. We custom-build these systems to meet the needs of your specific application.
8. If you use multiple seeds to balance nutrition, do you partition trays or levels and clean separately?
No, you can use multiple seeds in the same tray. Some seeds do grow faster than others, but in our trials we found no negative effects to the slower growing seeds and by the end of the 7-day growing cycle, we still had a uniform, lush fodder mat.
1. How much do seeds cost and where can I purchase them?
The cost depends on a number of variables including the type of seed and the supplier you choose. There are several nationwide seed distributors that we recommend, including Agway Inc., Crop Production Services, Southern States Cooperative, US Seed, All Star, Pioneer and Hancock Farm & Seed Co.
2. What type of seeds have you used in your trials?
We have done trials on several types of seeds. Our trials include alfalfa, barley, rye, wheat, oats, sorghum, buckwheat, field peas, clover, sunflowers and more! We have had success with most of our trials, so if you have questions give us a call and we’ll be happy to tell you what we saw.
3. Are there alternatives to bleach to sterilize the seeds?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to bleach. You can also use chlorine, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to sterilize the seeds. Sanitizing the seeds is a crucial step. You want to make sure that you remove any dirt, bacteria or mold spores from the seeds before you put them in the system.
1. What type of structure do you recommend to house this system?
Any type of structure. We have customers put them in old out buildings, sheds, hay barns or even in their basements. Ideally, this system will be housed in a greenhouse, but there are a lot of options available. Here at FarmTek, we aim to build to your location. If you have a spot where you think it will fit, give us a call, talk us through it and we will make all of the necessary environmental recommendations from there.
2. Can you help me design housing for this system?
Absolutely. We can provide you a complete turnkey solution custom designed for your specific needs.
3. How stable does the temperature need to be?
For the best results, we recommend that the temperature stays between 63° and 75°F.
4. Will I need grow lights?
It is highly recommended that you utilize grow lights at some point during the fodder growth. This will assist with photosynthesis and produce a fodder mat that is thicker and more lush.
5. What type of grow lights do you recommend?
A full spectrum grow light is going to give you the best results as it is the closest to natural sunlight. We can provide everything you need, whether it is just the bulbs or an entire lighting system.
6. How do you integrate lighting in this system?
The standard system does not come with lighting, but integrating lights is easy. How we integrate the lighting system depends on where the system is housed, your geographic location and the type of lights you want to use.
Livestock and Horses
1. How long does it take livestock to adapt to the fodder diet?
2. Have horse owners reported a decrease in the need for concentrates or grain while using fodder?
You will see a marked decrease in the need for supplemental feed, but before making an absolute transition to a fodder diet we do recommend consulting with a vet or nutritionist. This will ensure that your animals are still receiving the balanced diet and ration that they are used to.
3. What is the recommended seed for dairy fodder?
Dairy is a very unique industry. We recommend speaking to a vet or nutritionist. It’s going to depend on the type of dairy that you run. If you don’t have a vet or nutritionist that you work with, you can reach out to a local university extension office. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, give us a call and we can help you find the information you need.
4. Will milk production increase?
The increase is dependent on your animal’s current diet. We encourage you to seek the advice of a trained veterinarian or an experienced nutritionist to make sure you have the most balanced ration in regards to milk production.
5. I’ve never fed barley hay to any horses. How do we know that barley fodder is good for them?
We tested it. We have forage reports on a number of seeds from our trials.
If you would like more information or to see a forage report, please contact one of our fodder specialists at 1.800.327.6835 ext. 1267.