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Abigail’s Fodder for Thought – All-Natural Seed Prep

Fodder system with HPS lighting

Does the idea of preparing your fodder seeds in bleach make you turn up your nose? Are you concerned with creating the perfect balance of hydrogen peroxide and water for best sanitization? Well, fear no more as these steps are not required! We have recently concluded our testing of seed preparation with basic aeration and boy, are we impressed with the results! By simply soaking seeds in clean water with an aerating ceramic stone for 12 to 24 hours you can skip the sanitizing solution all together. Not only are we seeing superior mold protection throughout the growing process but we are also prompting germination while still in the soaking stage. With expedited germination a greater root mass is developed during the seven-day growing cycle.

Barley seed for fodder

To recap, aeration takes up less of your time and reduces labor since you don’t have to create a solution, less monetary investment since a sanitizing chemical does not have to be repeatedly purchased; expedited germination and growth, as well as better quality fodder overall. If all this can’t be considered a win, then I certainly don’t know what would be.

Since all of our systems come with the number of soaker bags and buckets equivalent to the number of channels in operation daily, just the small air pump and stones are required for additional purchase. For multiple units running daily, a customer can use a multi-outlet air pump and continue with bags and buckets provided with the system or upgrade to our commercial seed soaker. Available in a single or double soaker option, these can soak enough seed to produce up to 2,000 lbs. of fodder per day! (Please note that the cart and scoop are sold separately.)

alpaca eating fodder

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. How does adding air give mold protection?

    June 18, 2013
    • Mold requires the perfect balance of temperature, water and oxygen to reproduce and develop, as well as an organic food source of course. With a high concentration of oxygen being injected (and agitating the water) the mold cannot take hold and breed.

      June 24, 2013
  2. Mary #

    I have been using the air stones for two weeks now. I still find some minimal mold growth on the sides and bottom of one of the trays when I harvest. I have been using two different types of barley. The one is almost mold free while the other has the mold. I am assuming that the one seed has more mold spores than the other. I have not used any H2O2 spray at all on the seed since using the air stones and the root mass is white even thought there are some black mold areas on the trays.

    June 25, 2013
    • Glad to hear you are utilizing the aeration method during the 12-24 hour seed soak. Definitely keep track of which seed variety (and from which seed supplier) gives you the best results. Keep us updated!

      July 16, 2013
  3. Doug #

    If you soak your seeds don’t they start to ferment in the water? Also your commercial seed soaker how does on put in the right amount that high up. ? Thanks Doug

    June 25, 2013
    • If the seeds are good quality they should not ferment within 12-24 hours. If it starts to turn bad we would like to chat about what kind of seed you are using and possibly changing seed soak time. Second, to ensure you soak the proper amount weigh out the dry seed prior to using the seed soaker.

      July 16, 2013
  4. I have been using the stone aerator and have mold growing on top of the root mat. What else can I do? can I still feed it to my animals? some ‘fruit flies’ are present also now?? we are growing in a spare bedroom.

    February 23, 2014
    • Hi Anisha,

      The problem may not be with the seed. I recommend contacting one of our fodder specialists 1.800.201.3414. Describe the problem to them and they should be able to help you find a solution.

      Thank you,
      Your Friends at FarmTek

      February 24, 2014
  5. Dirk #

    I have been using the stone aerator with bleach solution and still have mold galore. I have the ph down solution siphon in the water line and a fan blowing. What else can be done? When the humidity goes up, so does the mold. I have never been able to grow a white root mat like it shows on the picture on this blog, it is always brown red color. Most of the time, white mold grows nicely on top of the root mat. Mold start appearing on day 3. I have tried UVB light to slow down the mold. With the UVB light, the white mold does not appear until day 6 or 7. At that time the fodder is about 3 inch tall. I have tried different suppliers of wheat and nothing really works.

    April 22, 2014
    • Hi Dirk,

      I’m sorry you’re having issues with mold. It sounds like you have been working hard to overcome the issue and I know how frustrating this can be.

      Most issues with mold are caused by either poor quality seed or poor growing conditions. Since I am not familiar with your setup or the seed suppliers you are using, it will be difficult for me to say exactly what the problem is or help you solve it.

      From the details you provided, a dehumidifier could help with the humidity issue. I need more information to help you further, please answer the following questions:

      Are you using a FodderPro Feed System?
      Where are you growing? Is there anything else in the room?
      What is the daily high/low temperature in the growing area?
      What is the high/low humidity?
      What is the pH of your water?
      How often and for how long are you watering?
      What seed supplier have you tried?
      Have you considered growing a different type of fodder, like barley?

      Thanks,
      Your Friends at FarmTek

      April 24, 2014

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