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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5, Page #13
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"Best Buy" Fodder Growing System

Carl Blake, Ionia, Iowa: I love my two fodder chambers from All Season Greens (888 753-5158; www.allseasongreens.com). I am a specialty breed hog producer (see Vol. 35, No. 1) and feeding sprouted seeds to my entire herd has been saving us thousands of dollars a month.
  Each chamber produces 1,000 lbs. of feed a day. One sprouting chamber is equivalent to 143 acres of alfalfa in terms of productivity.
  I estimate that the $60,000 units will pay for themselves in 9 months. A ton of fodder costs me $95 for seed, water and electricity. Compare that to buying corn at todays prices.
  I feed young pigs sprouts that have only been growing for 3 to 4 days, so its more like grain. Breeding animals receive sprouts that have been growing longer and are a foot or more tall.
  The young pigs grow faster on it than they do on corn. I have pigs in a pen with a feeder filled with pellets and corn, and they wont touch it. They prefer the sprouts. Ive experimented with sprouts for a year and a half, and the pigs require less medication and fewer antibiotics. I had some pigs with pneumonia, and it went away in 3 days after they started on sprouts.
  I credit the enzymes in the greens, as well as the addition of a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to water circulating through the trays, for keeping the sprouts and my pigs healthy.
  I use a product called Oxyblast in my central water system and one called Oxypal for my sprouts. It has taken seed germination from 49 percent to 87 percent. It reduces mold and mildew and auto-cleans everything.
  The chambers fit my 1960s vintage drive-through corn crib. The 25-ft. long, 8 1/2-ft. wide and 10-ft. high units sit in the driveway area with a walkway to spare. The crib was designed with ingredient bins above the drive for use in a grinder mixer. I intend to use them for seed. Gravity-fed tubes will make refilling sprout trays easy and fast. Eventually I hope to renovate the crib as a giant sprouting chamber with a 6-ton a day capacity.
  I also feed sprouts to my flock of 1,000 turkeys as well as my chickens. We used to have to grind and mix every day. Now we plant and harvest every day. With fodder chambers, small operators like me can produce their own feed. We dont need the big guys with all their land or the big feed mills.
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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5