Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Anyone growing barley mats to feed livestock? This is my primary goal. We live near Austin, TX and have 5 mules. In a normal year we spend around $350 on hay. Last year, with the extraordinary drought, we spent over $3000.

I don't have anything set up yet (no garden, hydroponic, or aquaponic system).

I've been researching, but it's a bit overwhelming to be honest. 

There are hydroponic systems that you can buy than include the entire building (http://www.foddersolu...)
or just the system of trays, etc. (http://www.farmtek.co...)

Sounds like the biggest issue is keeping humidity down to prevent mold. These systems grow from seed to around 6" tall fodder in 6 days and the entire mat is fed to livestock (no medium in the trays). 

 

Christina (Elgin, TX)

Views: 5420

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Randall, I friended Rob and sent him a note. :)

I talked to Cameron from http://coyotecreekfarm.org - they grow organic feed - he said he knew of a couple of people that were doing the same thing. I've sent him an email with my contact information, so I'll see if I get any feedback there. I looked at the discussion. I couldn't get the article to come up. I did get to the video, but it was one I'd already seen. 

I'll keep poking around and post back anything I find.

:-)

Yes I am familiar with that type of growing and am glad that there is finally someone else willing to do this. In fact it seems more than one now. I have been growing fodder for about ten years now, esp for my goats, sheep, rabbit and chicken in winter.

What would you like to know?

Christina I have played with it in aquaponics. It is very temp sensitive. Too hot or too cold and the germination goes to zip. If you can keep it around 55 to 65 you will be successful. A ton of wheat seed goes for 600.00 here. If you get a 6 to 1 growth in pounds of seed to barley or wheat mat then your costs will be about a 100 a ton for the fodder.. Not including electricity to control temp and run the pump.

Christina, i have had the best results with well water...no nutes. David is correct, it must be in a climate controlled room. if you plan to build one, its simple... water proof room(trailer, garage, etc.), temp and humidity controllers, dechlorinated water pumped to waste(or reuse the water by installing an ozone or UV system to keep water from going rank), and some type of NFT system to grow the grass in.

I think fodder is about to explode in Texas and i have been developing a turnkey system to offer locally, i will keep you posted on any progress.

Carey, how are you doing yours? in a green house, NFT, with AP water?

Carey Ma said:

Yes I am familiar with that type of growing and am glad that there is finally someone else willing to do this. In fact it seems more than one now. I have been growing fodder for about ten years now, esp for my goats, sheep, rabbit and chicken in winter.

What would you like to know?

So it sounds like it should be a stand alone system using just water. I also read that there is a propensity for it to mold, so do you have to keep the water flowing through the trays somehow? Rob, I'd be interested in finding out more about your system. I'm trying to figure out if it's even feasible to do. Right now the mules have enough grazing, but the hay prices are still high and as you know we are behind on rainfall again. I'm wondering if I could set up a small system in my house (instead of trying to cool another structure down to 60 degrees). We are already seeing temps in the 100's here. Carey, I don't know where to begin with my questions! I'm a complete newbie - no aquaponic or hydroponic or anything else at this point.

Ideally, if I can get a relatively simple system set up, I have a number of horse rescues that I work with and I'd love to help them set up their own systems - keep their hay cost down at the same time as helping the animals get into a healthier state more rapidly. :)

Yes, that was out here in Elgin - very close to me. I tried not to freak out when I heard about it! The tifton is very common out here. Higher yields, and higher protein. How is the wheat grass experiment going? I wish I could find more information about doing this. The commercial companies all use barley. I'm wondering if that would be too high in protein for the mules. We feed the lowest protein we can find in feeds and no alfalfa unless it is dry and cubed and much lower protein that the bales.

I've started to experiment with barley fodder for my horses/chickens and used a temperature control setting of 75. I thought the ideal temp was around here. Does anyone have some input on the optimal setting?
 
David Waite said:

Christina I have played with it in aquaponics. It is very temp sensitive. Too hot or too cold and the germination goes to zip. If you can keep it around 55 to 65 you will be successful. A ton of wheat seed goes for 600.00 here. If you get a 6 to 1 growth in pounds of seed to barley or wheat mat then your costs will be about a 100 a ton for the fodder.. Not including electricity to control temp and run the pump.

On this site, it says 80 degrees: http://www.nutra-fix.com/Fodder/news-media.html

This study has some info in celcius. http://qcl.farmonline.com.au/files/48/20/01/000012048/Hydroponicfod...

(temp conversion is approx. 21c = 70f, 27c=80f )

"Growing temperature: Dry matter (DM) losses were measured over 8 days at two growing 

temperatures, 21ºC and 27ºC. From day 3 the sprouts received balanced nutrient feed and light for 16
hours daily. Dry matter loss was gradual to day 4, after which it began to drop rapidly. DM appeared to
increase after six days. Sprouts grown at 21ºC lost 18% DM by day 8 and at 27ºC the loss was 23.6%."

This one says 65-75 degrees: http://www.growingedge.com/magazine/pdf/GE_1803_p40.pdf

Barley is a winter crop. I'm wondering if there isn't something that we could grow at warmer temperatures. We're in triple digits here in central Texas now. I can see it being pretty pricey just trying to keep the temperatures within range.



Scott Frazier said:

I've started to experiment with barley fodder for my horses/chickens and used a temperature control setting of 75. I thought the ideal temp was around here. Does anyone have some input on the optimal setting?
 
David Waite said:

Christina I have played with it in aquaponics. It is very temp sensitive. Too hot or too cold and the germination goes to zip. If you can keep it around 55 to 65 you will be successful. A ton of wheat seed goes for 600.00 here. If you get a 6 to 1 growth in pounds of seed to barley or wheat mat then your costs will be about a 100 a ton for the fodder.. Not including electricity to control temp and run the pump.

We are looking at doing some fodder in our new greenhouse here in Ohio, but I grew up in Texas so I know the area's.  One of the things we are looking at growing is some of the rye grasses as fodder. 



Christina Blue said:

On this site, it says 80 degrees: http://www.nutra-fix.com/Fodder/news-media.html

This study has some info in celcius. http://qcl.farmonline.com.au/files/48/20/01/000012048/Hydroponicfod...

(temp conversion is approx. 21c = 70f, 27c=80f )

"Growing temperature: Dry matter (DM) losses were measured over 8 days at two growing 

temperatures, 21ºC and 27ºC. From day 3 the sprouts received balanced nutrient feed and light for 16
hours daily. Dry matter loss was gradual to day 4, after which it began to drop rapidly. DM appeared to
increase after six days. Sprouts grown at 21ºC lost 18% DM by day 8 and at 27ºC the loss was 23.6%."

This one says 65-75 degrees: http://www.growingedge.com/magazine/pdf/GE_1803_p40.pdf

Barley is a winter crop. I'm wondering if there isn't something that we could grow at warmer temperatures. We're in triple digits here in central Texas now. I can see it being pretty pricey just trying to keep the temperatures within range.



Scott Frazier said:

I've started to experiment with barley fodder for my horses/chickens and used a temperature control setting of 75. I thought the ideal temp was around here. Does anyone have some input on the optimal setting?
 
David Waite said:

Christina I have played with it in aquaponics. It is very temp sensitive. Too hot or too cold and the germination goes to zip. If you can keep it around 55 to 65 you will be successful. A ton of wheat seed goes for 600.00 here. If you get a 6 to 1 growth in pounds of seed to barley or wheat mat then your costs will be about a 100 a ton for the fodder.. Not including electricity to control temp and run the pump.

Where does some one look to buy Fodder seeds in bulk?

OK. My system fodder system is very simple. I have a seven tier metal rack with the shelves at a slant (5 deg) towards the front on the back wall of my greenhouse. I use Mc Donald type trays with holes drilled in them to let water out. It is continuously cycling fresh water via drip lines at the back of the rack. This is simply well water. "Waste" water runs into our in-ground fish tank. I use a fan to wick away moisture.

The most important thing I have learned is the pretreatment of seeds. 

The second most important thing I have learned is to grow different varieties of "grass". Each type of grass contains different nutrients, so it is important to have a diversified diet in order to maintain health and equilibrium. Besides wheat,corn, barley and oats,you might try beans and peas, radish/ turnip, mustard, clover and other cool season greens.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service