Fodder Economics

What We Know:

Hydroponic Sprouts can dramatically improve the profitability of a farmer or breeder of most animal types. With the rising cost of grain, hay and other traditional types of livestock feeds, Agritom can show you how feeding sprouts will reduce your operating costs enough to pay for the equipment necessary to sprout barley fodder.

Growing fodder for your farm will result in significant feed cost savings. Depending on the system, you can recoup the cost of purchasing a system within one or two years. Purchasing an Agritom Fodder System will give you control over feed costs and bring your farm one step closer to sustainability. To find out why a Agritom Fodder Systems are a smart investment for the future of your farm, view the charts below.

What the Scientist Knows:

The key advantages of sprouting barley is its excellent energy and protein content. By sprouting barley the nutritional value of the grain increases on a dry matter basis. Science tells us that by sprouting grain over a seven day period we increase its dry matter, protein, and fibre as well as other beneficial properties. The secret to the benefits of ‘green over grain’ is the dramatically increased ability to digest the fodder once it has been consumed by an animal.  The digestibility of green fodder can be as high as 90% compared to that of hay and grain which can often be as low as 30%.

What the Farmer Knows:

This information may come as no surprise to many farmers. It’s often the case that what Scientists spend a lifetime trying to prove; farmers knew all along. At the end of the day, a farmer can see that whole grain is not properly digested by his or her cattle. A farmer doesn’t need a lab to prove this, a farmer can see whole grain in the ruminants manure in the same condition as when he fed it the day before!

To enhance the digestibility, grain is often crushed. The problem here is that valuable protein and energy is lost during the process. In addition, rancidity progressively develops in the grain reducing the potential goodness and digestibility. Farmers know these problems but until now there has not been a viable solution.

The grain that is sprouted in an Agritom Fodder System is high in protein and rich in available nutritional properties. It is not a complete diet replacement as animals still require adequate amounts of fibre through roughage as part of their growing and maintenance needs. Agritom can provide the farmer with a Fodder System that is capable of producing fresh green barley fodder that is available all year round.

Is all Dry Matter the same?

Feed quantity (kilograms of dry matter) is the most common way of measuring feed and we often talk about the cost of purchased feeds on a kilograms of dry matter basis.

An equally, if not more important measure is feed “quality“; feed “quality” is the energy value of feed. It is measured by the amount of usable or metabolisable energy (ME) in a given weight of feed. This is commonly referred to as the megajoules of metabolisable energy per kilogram of dry matter (MJME/kg DM) or M/D for short. 

Basically, the higher the M/D value the better the feed.  Sprouted Fodder already has a great M/D value.  As an added bonus though, it’s digestibility of up to 90% makes it by far one of the best and most affordable livestock feeds as can be seen in the following table.

Additional Savings:

There are savings and increased revenue to be made from incorporating an Agritom Fodder System into your farming enterprise. Land, energy, and equipment costs can be reduced or in some cases even eliminated.  Some of these savings can be in the form of the following:


Less Land

  • .Expand herd size without purchasing additional land.
  • Redeploy land for other revenue generating crops.
  • Install Sprouting system on non-productive land
  • Fencing and equipment maintenance reduced.

Less Energy

  • Reduce energy used to pump water.
  • Reduce fertilisers, pesticides, and other chemicals.
  • Readily accessible therefore reduced fuel costs.
  • Options to incorporate stand alone Solar Systems.

Less Equipment

  • Planting equipment.
  • Harvesting equipment.
  • Storage facilities.
  • Transportation from harvest to storage facilities.

Decreased Vet Bills

Other savings can be generated from better herd health. Our sprouts can dramatically improve the health of livestock. Owners of Hydroponic Fodder System have reported:

  • Significantly higher conception rates.
  • Dramatic reductions in involuntary cull rates.
  • Reduction in colic and ulcers in equine.
  • Virtually eliminated acidosis and laminitis in dairy cows.

Dare to Compare: 

Agritom Fodder Systems are a great solution to those that live in a region where alternative feed is either unavailable or too expensive. Even if you have pastures for grazing, Fodder Systems can help to sustain these pastures over longer periods of time and offer superior nutritional value to your livestock. 

Want to know more?

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of vertical farming technology, we’d love to empower you to grow food for your community.