midwestproducer.com; By Terri Adams For Midwest Producer; Hydroponics is a way to feed livestock that is growing in popularity. Not because it is a fad, but because it offers real savings and real security.
Hydroponics produces nutrient-rich food when weather conditions are difficult and land is expensive.
“Every time there is a dry spell someplace there is a renewed interest in this,” said Jim Brown with CropKing Hydroponics.
With hydroponics, plants can be grown in a small amount of water in a greenhouse environment year round. It grows faster, is not dependent on the weather, and can be ready for harvesting in seven to 10 days depending on the crop. The simple method requires very little fertilizer and no soil.
With the drought in Texas, ranchers are selling off their cattle and those who are keeping cattle over the winter are having to ship in hay from out-of-state. Since the price of fuel is so high, the price of hay has more than doubled in some areas of the state.The drought has ranchers across the nation realizing that it could happen to them. No state is drought proof but hydroponics can ensure nutritious feed during times of drought and use less water than most cultivated hay fields.CropKing supplies the equipment and operating instructions producers need to grow their own feed. The producers then purchase the seeds from their local dealer. A thousand pounds of seed will produce 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of feed.
It is easy to see why hydroponic growing systems are growing in popularity. By stacking the growing trays, a little bit of space can provide a lot of fodder yearround and free up prime farm and ranch land for other uses.