GRASS FODDER SYSTEMS BY HYDROPONICS
IN 4 - 8 DAYS.
Our 45 metre long grass growing greenhouse.
Grass fodder SYSTEMS are used as an animal feed and can be produced in great numbers within 8 days from seed to grass for all livestock. Various varieties of grass fodder include, but are not limited to, barley, oat grass, lucerne grass, to rye grass or whatever grass one wishes to grow in ones country. (add C02 and you can make quicker in 4-5 days). Growing grass fodder systems hydroponically is now becoming popular in drought prone areas but growing hydroponic grass fodder can require a large investment in a commercial hydroponic greenhouse.
We can help the small hobby farmer in arid countries and specialize in large commercial grass fodder production. A typical greenhouse in Algeria we can make for $US5000 for a commercial setup using local materials
BUILDING YOUR HYDROPONIC FODDER GRASS SYSTEM GREENHOUSE: the home handyman way
We will give you a little info on building your system -- this is not commercial as we are doing but a guide only. To set your own up of course the expense is in the housing itself but if you are a handyman then you can build your own greenhouse using the materials one would have on ones farm. The typical house would consist of a concrete floor with adequate drainage eg. sloped along to the centre line or outside walls to collect water and overspill in a trough drainage system similar to swimming pools with grill running right down the centre then drained out of the house itself & collected if you want in your effluent holding tank. The walls can be of Treated pine painted white (raised off the ground using galv holding brackets in the concrete or if one wants to go a proper system then use galvanized or steel trusses & posts or even PVC as then you have no problems with cleanliness. Or you can make any way you like with materials at hand so theres no standard size etc of any greenhouse ormaterials. Its over to you. Walls can be concrete or plastered if you like with shade roof. We use imported PVC --& in countries where cement is cheap then pre cement walls half way up and then covered with plastic to stop snakes and virmin from entering via the plastic; which allows for an economical house with a double additive--- the PVC pipes can also be used for the travel of water to and from the system. PVC is light, easy to erect and can be twin lined with UV plastic material coated with our UV material in a matter of hours but in hotter climates one needs to have a constant temp which we will tell you about later. The beauty of using NEW wood trusses for the local farmer is that the plastic can be ribbed on the outside using H3 battens on the outside. A cheap and ideal way in places like Chile, NZ, Canada, Russia, Australia is to use timber framing on a commercial scale. Itt is up to the individual to make up his mind on just what style is comfortable for their needs and pocket. The downside of using wood is for sterilization & cleaning but for a start to see how you go-- why nor try as its the trays and water that must be kept clean. For an average house to feed average stock lots is approx 12m x 6m and this size you can feed approx 180- head of cattle quite easily so 1/4 size it for the home grower. Remember seed raising does not need to have a lot of light, does not need a $50,000 greenhouse; does not need 7 hours a day to look after. Durable commercial shade house for maximum protection from harmful UV is important but as grass growing does not need much light you can even rotate it using a shipping container. We are making complete simple systems for the home owner..
Our system in Algeria is 46 metres long and 12 metres wide fully automated with vented roof
and sensors to regulate heat, control weather changes right to nutrient levels etc.
BUYING THE TANK AND grass fodder SYSTEMS :
Some hydroponic companies will try to sell you the whole deal but check the price and that may shock even the keenest of alternate farmers and livestock husbandry but if you can find books on hydroponics you can certainly start small and as you get used to what youre doing then go bigger. Its all about experimentation. Follow this as a practical example if you just wish to start small. There are also good sites in Australia, Canada, UK, Spain and in the USA and you can buy whole systems no problem on the net but of course you want to save money and do it your way step by step.You can even use fishtank submersible pumps for small systems & with a timer your nutrient plant can be switched on 2 times a day no problem. However we build large structures and interested in Commercial levels for the livestock farmer or herder.We are also looking for agents in the Middle East & partners willing to setup our system once established in Algeria. The below system was started in NZ and we are presently shipping to Algeria to setup.
Automated air, temperature and water
The installation of the building and complete system can cost $20,000 - 50,000 ouch!!! for just a small setup but remember in the west costs are high for builders making it impractical. But you don't need to have an expensive house setup at all. You can make it using any materials on hand. On top of this is the cost of the concrete slab or evn no slab, the green house material costs and the costs if you use alternativer 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 like RD1, Wrightsons, Farmlands etc by ordering. Other major costs are that of quality nutrients, electricity to run the cooling and watering system. Anheuser-Busch provide good-quality barley seed at a good price in the USA.
However we have our own Oat producing farms in the North Island in NZ, silos in Thailand and adequate supplies of Barley in Algeria so supply is not an issue. All in all its a fun way in arid places to have such a system as backup.
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.
[ Beginnings ] [ Seeds & Trays ] [ Nutrients ] [ Fungus & Important points ] [ Construction ]