Need more affordable feed?
Producing spouted barley is the answer, says Dihl Grohs, a Wessington Springs, S.D., cattleman and inventor. Grohs developed a way to automate hydroponic sprouted barley fodder production year-round inside a climate-controlled building and started a company called HydroGreen Global Technology to market it.
Grohs has such a system operating on a farm at Renner, S.D. The $290,000 setup, which includes the building and two growing systems with six growing decks, is producing the same amount of feed in a year as about 300 acres of corn silage, says Craig Livingston, HydroGreen president.
Land in the area just sold at auction for as much as $9,600 per acre this spring, which would be about $2.8 million for 300 acres, or $2.5 million more than the HydroGreen building and equipment. Plus no tractor, planter or forage chopper is needed to produce sprouted barley fodder.
HydroGreen growing systems (not including a building) start as low as $20,000.
“If you are interested in more affordable feed, this is a no-brainer,” Grohs says.