Have questions? Check out the info below in order to learn more about our range of Fodder Systems.
Your Questions Answered
We’ve put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about our innovative Fodder Systems.
If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, please use the contact us page.
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How much fodder should I feed to my livestock?
Below is an estimate of how much fodder can be fed to the most common farm livestock. Some livestock will also require roughage or mineral supplements. These amounts are to be used as a guide only.
– Horses: 2-3% of bodyweight in fodder + 1.5% bodyweight in hay.
– Beef Cattle: 2-3% of bodyweight in fodder + adlib hay/straw ration.
– Dairy Cattle: 3-5% of bodyweight in fodder + adlib hay/straw ration.
– Pigs: 2-3% of bodyweight in fodder
– Sheep and Goats: 2-3% of bodyweight in fodder + adlib hay ration.
– Chickens: 2-3% of bodyweight in fodder + grit and calcium supplements.
Does the water get recycled?
No. Although it is possible, the cost of the equipment to achieve this is greater than the benefit gained. When fodder water is recycled it has the potential to start fermenting. This can cause many issues with the system and the quality of the fodder. The water can be collected and used else where on site such as irrigation, wash downs and stock water.
What seeding rate do you recommend?
When sprouting barley we recommend a seeding rate of 4 – 6kg per square metre (about 10 – 15mm deep after presoaking). Extensive research over the years has determined that this is the optimal seeding rate. If an increase in fodder production is required the seeding rate can be raised to 8kg per square metre however it will be much more expensive to produce and can greatly reduce the quality of the fodder. As seed density is increased there is a significant reduction in Dry Matter recovery. Seeding rates of 8kg per square metre and higher will also cause the root mass to become so thick that anaerobic conditions start to occur within it due to the biomass overheating. This can also cause the fodder to be severely affected by contaminating micro-organisms. Some companies in the past have used seeding rates of 10kg per square metre or even more however this is simply a sales tactic to give the illusion that their system is producing large amounts of fodder.
Do you ship internationally?
Definitely. Our fodder systems are already being used successfully in many parts of the world. We can organise the complete shipping and delivery process for you.
Why do you recommend a 7-day sprout cycle?
Substantially more growth can be achieved by sprouting for 7 days. As you are making more use of the seed (converting 1kg of seed into 7kg of fodder), sprouting to 7 days is about 30% cheaper than fodder produced at say 5 days. The sprouts also start to photosynthesise around the 5-day mark which leads to slightly accelerated growth. The purpose of sprouting fodder is to convert the seed into a more usable feed. A study carried out by the Department of Primary Industries found that this conversion doesn’t begin to take place until roughly day 4. Another study by Morgan et al. (1992) discovered that sprouted seeds lost weight right up until day 6. After this they began adding small amounts of weight which resulted in a small increase in dry matter. Another important fact to note is that 7-day sprouts also contain on average 10% more protein than 5-day sprouts.
Can I still sprout on a 5-day cycle?
Yes. You can still sprout at 5 or 6 days if that is truly what you desire. If you want to sprout on a 5-day cycle the rated capacities of our units can be increased by as much as 40%. This is due to there being more trays of fodder per day. Although the capacity of the system is greatly increased, it is not as cost effective as sprouting on a 7-day cycle.
Why do you use removable trays as opposed to fixed trays?
Trays are much easier to clean when they can be removed from the system. Fixed trays also tend to collect mould, especially underneath where they are fixed to supporting structures.
Why are your trays the size that they are?
It becomes an OH&S issue. While there are no set standards, it is advisable that male employees should not repeatedly handle items weighing more than 20kg and female employees no more than 15kg. If they are made to do so it opens the possibility of a Workcover claim against the employer if the employee is injured as a result, even if the injury presents itself years later.
How much power and water do the systems use?
Power and water consumption can vary depending on many factors such as; the seed type and quality being sprouted, local weather conditions and water quality. As a basic guide the systems will consume approximately 3 – 5kW/h of electricity and 1,500 litres of water per 1000kg of fodder produced.
How much seed is required?
You can expect to get a seed to fodder conversation rate of about 1 is to 7 (1kg of seed will produce 7kg of fodder). Therefore, to calculate the daily seed required for a certain system all you have to do is divide the daily capacity of the system by a factor of 7.
Do the systems require a special type of seed?
No. We do recommend you try to source reasonably good quality seed however this is not always available. Certain varieties of seed can produce better results than others. The important thing to remember is that sprouting will improve the feed quality of any variety of seed.
What about mould?
Mould is very easily dealt with in an Agritom Fodder System. Some earlier systems manufactured by other companies were notorious for growing mould. This is due to a poor design and inadequate climate control systems. We combat mould using a variety of methods. Some of which are:
– Recommending good seed preparation (washing and soaking).
– The use of a seeding rate that doesn’t cause the biomass to overheat.
– Utilisation of an ozone generator which is a powerful and harmless disinfection device.
– Ultraviolet lighting that helps destroys airborne pathogens.
– The use of industrial type air conditioning systems, not domestic.
– We have a state-of-the-art control system that is far superior to anything else on the market.
How much labour is required each day?
Labour can vary from person to person however we find that on average it takes approximately 1.5 hours to per 1000kg of fodder. We do advise users however that they will mostly likely spend twice as much time on a system when the first begin operating it. Like most things, labour is reduced as the user becomes more familiar with operating the system.
What water source can we use?
Dam, creek, rain and bore water are all suitable providing that the water is clean and free from contamination. Agritom systems have prefilters installed however if you think that your water is quite dirty then it may be necessary to treat the water accordingly.
How does the system work?
The systems are very easy to use. Basically, it begins with soaking some seed of your choosing. This seed is then spread evenly on trays that slide through the unique Agritom racking system. The system then irrigation the seed and keeps it at the perfect temperature to encourage growth whilst at the same time prevent mould and bacteria from growing. Each day you will harvest fresh green fodder from the system and replace those trays with trays containing more soaked seed. It’s as easy as that.
What are the main benefits of having an Agritom Fodder System?
With an Agritom Fodder System you can expect the following benefits:
– Increased carrying capacity.
– Weight gains between 1 – 2kg/day in Cattle and up to 2.4kg/week in Sheep.
– An increase in the market price for your livestock due to a better-quality product.
– Reduction in feed costs.
– Consistent feed all year round regardless of weather conditions.
– Improved general health of livestock.
Can I sprout grains other than barley?
Yes. A variety of different grains can be used for sprouting such as: barley, wheat, corn, oats, sunflower etc. Barley is by far the most popular as it is readily available and has a good germination rate.
Why should I choose an Agritom system over another brand?
Agritom has been involved in the fodder system manufacturing industry for nearly a decade now. While other companies have come and gone, Agritom has stood the test of time. This success is due to the quality of our systems, the integrity of our company, and the passion that we have for what we do. Please contact us so we can discuss in more detail the many reasons why Agritom Fodder Systems are superior to others on the market.
Can you guarantee the quality of your systems?
Yes. Agritom is a certified ISO:9001 Quality Assured company. The ISO:9001 quality management systems standard is designed to help organisations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.
Should the system be installed under cover?
Yes. Although it may not be necessary in some areas, we always recommend that the unit be installed under cover. This will keep the direct heat from the sun of the roof which will allow the unit to operate more efficiently. It’s also help protect the equipment from the elements.
Are the capacities of your systems realistically attainable?
Yes. There will always be variables beyond our control that can affect the quantity of fodder that the system will produce. We are conservative when it comes to stating how much our fodder systems can produce. We expect ALL our clients to produce the recommended capacity of the system.