Like many places around the world, India is facing urban encroachment on agricultural production land, drought and rising feed prices. Here’s an interesting article, which details how commercial dairies in India are using hydroponic fodder production to equip themselves to face these challenges. Here are a couple of interesting highlights:
- The Integrated Dairy Development Project recommends a basic ration of 55 lbs of hydroponic fodder, 22 lbs of conventional green fodder (haylage, silage, or fresh pasture?) and 11 lbs of straw. Production at this ration was low by American standards, but normal by Indian standards; around 35 pounds. We have observed American dairies using a similar ration and producing 50 lbs.
- Dairies should realize a savings of 20-25% in feed costs.
- A study by the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Study indicated milk production with a fodder based diet increased by one to three litres per cow, an increase of 0.3% in butterfat, and a 0.5% increase in SNF.