FarmBox Farms recently announced the launch of its Hydroponic Fodder Farm. The company says its intention for the elaborate feedstock is to avoid supply-chain disruptions, sourcing issues and spikes in hay prices. FarmBox explains that since barley fodder requires only a 7-day growth cycle, a staggered schedule allows farmers and ranchers to harvest around 880-lbs. of fodder per day.
The 320-sq.-ft. controlled-climate farm reportedly provides a reliable, hyperlocal source of fresh food while shielding the barley fodder from weather and climate impacts such as droughts, heat-waves, freezes and floods. FarmBox’s fodder farms are housed inside upcycled, insulated shipping containers and retrofitted with plumbing, electrical and sensors to control the climate inside. The farms also capture, filter, and recycle water.Fodder is a nutrient-dense hay that is use as a dietary supplement for horses, cows, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, rabbits and alpacas. The company states that fodder rich in protein improves the overall health of livestock, supplements hydration and adds weight to beef cattle. FarmBox Farms also states that it promotes the production of better-quality milk for dairy cows and goats, improves fertility rates, reduces the likelihood of illness and decreases methane output due to the digestibility of the fodder compared to traditional alfalfa hay.