[Common Questions & Answers]

    Fodder NorthWest's AFS' are designed with robust and user friendly technologies while using state-of-the-art growing methods gained from many years of research and product development. Our Systems are available in modular sized fully transportable containers from refrigerator size to full turnkey custom designed commercial systems providing for the needs of the hobby farmer to commercial farms. Fodder NorthWest systems range from production of 90 lb/day through to 945lb/day. Small systems are fully transportable and are ready to produce from the time they are delivered on the farm.

   Only Single phase 30amp power is needed. The rooms come complete, ready to plug into a power socket and hose to water supply. The systems cost no more than $2/day in power costs to run as they are very well insulated and designed to be extremely power efficient. The systems can be used outside in a paddock but naturally they will perform better with lower running costs inside a shed or out of direct sunlight in the summer months. Fodder NW's APS technology offers low operating costs and requires minimum labor. Depending on the system size, typical operation takes from only 15 to 60 minutes per day to harvest, clean and seed the AFS (Alternative Feed Systems).

Unit   Feed per Day    Dimensions        Shipping Weight
                                       L x W x H

AFS-16   Approx 90lbs    9'8" x 4'5" x 7'9"      1600lbs
        (6 biscuits) Uses ~12lb grain per day
AFS-33   Approx 180lbs    9'8" x 7'7.5" x 7'9"      2000lbs
        (12 biscuits) Uses ~24lb grain per day
AFS-66   Approx 360lbs    19'2" x 7"7.5" x 7'7.5"      2500lbs
        (24 biscuits) Uses ~48lb grain per day
AFS-99   Approx 540lbs    19'2" x 7'7.5" x 9'1"      2800lbs
        (36 biscuits) Uses ~72lb grain per day
AFS-172   Approx 945lbs    19'2" x 10'9" x 10'5"      4500lbs
        (63 biscuits) Uses ~126lb grain per day

Every model of Fodder NorthWest hydroponic feed production system contains a racking system complete with:

  • Growing trays
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Lightling
  • A Heating and Cooling ventilation system

  Our Alternative Feed Systems (AFS) maximum feed production is maintained through the use of the biomass growing that maintain a consistent environment. The smaller Fodder systems are factory assembled and shipped ready for easy site installation. A flat and solid base, and only simple electrical, water and drainage hook up is required. Solid construction, reliable state-of-the-art equipment ensure trouble-free “constant” production in often-harsh operating environments. Operational consistency is ensured through sound engineering, solid construction and demonstrated operational performance. With over 10 years combined experience, the AFS team has a reliable track record in fabricating and assembling hydroponic systems.

    Common Questions about Fodder Systems

Q> If power is lost, what is the result to the crop?

A> If the power is lost for a short period of time there is really no damage to the crop. If it stays down for 4 + hours you will need to manually wet the crop (try to mist the water applied). If the power is out for a long period of time, the systems are wired so that you can plug them into a generator or solar/wind to keep the heating/cooling going. Of course if your water is on a well and your other power is down also you will need to try to manually wet the crop via another water source. Keep in mind irregardless of the length of power outage and severity. It takes less than a week to get the system 100% back into production if the entire crop did become a loss. When we have natural disasters it sometimes takes months and years for farm land to recover. When we tested the units for heat/cool exchange, we were able to run the system in -10 below zero temps. Then we shut the system off and approximately 4-5 + hours and later checked the temp inside the system and we had only lost about 4-5 degrees of temp. Keep in mind the outside was still -10 below.

Q> Will my horse's manure levels change?

A> Yes you will see a reduction in manure. One primary reason is that the animal is consuming less dry matter material (which is good)and is actually digesting 80% of the Fodder vice 30% of your old diet; over a period of time it will increase a little but not back up to the prior diet levels. This will obviously reduce your manure disposal loads!

Q> Does it matter when I harvest and Seed my Unit?

A> Try to seed your trays around the same time frame each day (if you can't it is no big deal). A standard Harvest/Seed time will give you more uniformity to your harvesting heights of each tray of biscuits

Q> Can I use other grains besides Barley in my Unit?

A> The Fodder Solutions Unit is designed to sprout grains and legume, like Oats, Clover, Fenugreek, Alfalfa, Soybean, Safflower as well as black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS)to mention a few. This allows you to individually tailor your own desired blend of feed that not only matches your livestock up to its feeding needs, but allows you to take advantage of whatever seeds are in season in your area and save additional costs.

Q> Oats are usually a High Power Grain, how does sprouting change this grain, and will it have the same effect on my horse?

A> Oats (sprouting does tone it down). You should seed a little heavier than the barley due to the fact that the Oat root zone is not as dense as the barley. That is the great thing about sprouting; it truly takes it out of being a potential hot feed. When grain is in its dry form all that nutrition in essence is concentrated. When you sprout it you are making it more balanced and adding hydration to the digestive process which allows for a more normal rate (but higher nutrient uptake) absorption into the animals blood stream, which is better and natural to that animals digestive process.

Q> Must I run my Unit at full capacity?

A> The Sprouting system is so flexible. You can shut it down if you are going away for a few days and you can match your production to the level needed by the number of livestock and to the added seasonal availability of pasture forage.

Q> How long will the biscuits last once removed from my unit?

A> You can travel with the biscuits for about 4-5 days. They will lose some nutritional value but not much. If you do keep the root zone wet, yes they will continue to grow. But with that you will also begin to deplete the energy and nutritional value of the biscuit. It is recommended that you place the feed out of direct sun light and do not set it directly on the ground. The biscuit will grow right into it over about a 4-10 hour period and believe me they are hard to pull back up because the roots will have pushed into the ground about 1/2 inch by then.

Q> How much maintenance is involved with the Fodder Unit?

A> You should, about once or twice a month, clean {A long handled Car Wash brush works great!} the bottom of the system. You will build up some slim after awhile. The rest of the compensates are very low maintained. Occasionally you may have to remove the misting heads and clean them out from junk that got in the water. (Ensure you have a hose screen on your systems water intake).

Q> Can I use the runoff water from the unit for anything?

A> The system has little run-off and any excess water can be used for stock water tanks or garden water.

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