FodderBox benefits the farmer, the livestock, the consumer and the environment. 

Having launched FodderBox Ltd. with the support of Enterprise Ireland, I am excited to bring game-changing hydroponic fodder production technology to Ireland, with the potential to revolutionise our climate-change mitigation strategies.

 

One of the factors that makes this Field in a Box game-changing is water management. As evidenced by the much needed Nitrate Regulations that came into effect April 1st, managing Ireland’s water is no joke. FodderBox does not use fertilizers. Pure water is constantly recirculated—with water in the 2CBM holding tank being changed once a week, and a daily water consumption rate of 0.05CBM. This represents the lowest water consumption rate possible across all fodder production methods.

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The most significant game-changing aspect of hydroponic fodder lies in its ability to increase the efficiency of the feed conversion. Because digestive enzymes are created at germination, they are at their highest concentration at germination. Similarly, key nutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are physically created at germination (after which point they all begin to degrade.) Thus, FodderBox delivers peak nutrition that is maximally digestible. 

 

Increased digestive efficiency lowers the energy cost of digestion, freeing up energy for valuable metabolic activity, and inherently reducing digestive waste products like methane and ammonia—representing an overall reduction in pollution, and represented by an overall reduction in volume of waste produced.

 

Increased digestive efficiency means the cattle—or pigs, or sheep, or chickens, or goats, or horses—are healthier, which is immediately visible in increased shine in their coat and strength in their hooves, or the increased thickness of their shells. 

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Research on hydroponic fodder—across all livestock categories—has shown health benefits such as increased milk production and quality, reaching sexual maturity faster, putting on weight faster, and returning to cycle faster after calving. 

 

You are what you eat: The health benefits to the animal extend to health benefit of their animal products, having been produced from the highest quality nutrition—for example, livestock fed hydroponic fodder show higher levels of beneficial Omega-threes, which are themselves created at germination.

 

Lastly, the benefits of increasing the efficiency of the feed conversion is reflected in economic efficiency, putting money back into farmers‘ pockets: Two tons of HydroFodder cost €100 to produce and replaces 1 ton of rations which costs €300 to purchase; thus, 365 tons of HydroFodder replaces 183 tons of rations and represents a cost savings of €36,600.

I look forward to having an opportunity to speak with you about FodderBox — A Field In A Box.