Hydroponics machine for cattle / dairy farm Business

Hi friends…

In this last few days … i inquired mfg of hydroponics machine.

Many of them give me quotation with installation & commissioning,

Before to buy as always prefer to get suggestion & view from this forum…

Green tech - 500 Ton 14 lacks.

United fodd. - 500 Ton 12.5 lcks

Emmar        - 500 Ton 12 lacks…

Pls share your views… this is very very imp for me as i am going to start dairy farm…

My planning for for 20 cows / Buffelos.


My personal view

  1. Calculate the return on investment for the machine that you are selecting.
    Plus recurring expenses of seeds which are required everyday.
    Plus other expenses like electricity cost to keep the machine running everyday.
  2. Cow cannot milk solely on hydro fodder, you will need another fodder also to fill its stomach. Best case, hydro fodder can replace part of your concentrates. Due to high water content, for filling cows stomach, you will need to feed atleast 100 kgs hydrofodder per cow. This will give 10% dry matter as 10 kg DM which in thumb rule for feeding any large size HF for body maintenance, in addition you also have to feed for milking. So clearly it is not practical.
  3. If you are able to get maize fodder in your area, buy and make silage. This would be cheapest form of fodder and best form of fodder for your cow.

I strongly feel that it is not possible to run a profitable dairy using commercial hydro fodder systems and hydro fodder as main fodder.

Actually, there is nothing great in those machines, you can do it yourself by hiring a worker to do all the work that machine in doing, it will work out much much much cheaper. You just need to understand the environment conditions required, and watering cycle. A few trials at home and you will no doubt succeed. There are plenty of articles on internet for DIY hydrofodder systems.

Anyway, good luck.

1 Like


Good points covered …

Model Name     Production Capacity                                                   Size
GT-150         130 to 150 Kg fodder per day Approx                        9ft X 5ft X 10ft

Comparison with Conventional Method Fodder

Particulars                         Conventional method                                     Greentech systems                     Savings on

Area                                                ½ acre                                             Approx 9ft X 5ft X 10ft                                land

Water requirement                        Appt. 60-80 lts / kg fodder                                 Appt. 2-3 lts / kg                                  Water savings

Nutritional value                               9-10% protein / kg                             13-14% protein / kg maize seed             Better nutrients

Fertilisers, weedicides, fungicide         Required                                                             Not required                       Saving on fertilisers

Fodder yield dependency                     On climate rain, water, etc                        In controlled environment                     -

Utilisation by animals                               Partial                                                 complete                                 Reduction in waste

Labour requirement                                         More                                                     Only 2-3 hrs / day             Saving

I have this data…

as here in land is very costly… For 1 acre 15 lacks.

Even we are not getting agricultural electrical connection, we have to use Residential or commercial connection.


Still basic point you are missing out. You cannot run your dairy solely on hydrofodder. You need something else to fill stomach.

I dont think you need large lands to run dairy, you just need to be located in a area where large number of farmers grow maize.
You can buy from them and make silage.
We are running a dairy producing 400 lts/day by procuring maize fodder for silage from surrounding farmers as well as groundnut hay/paddy straw/horsegram hay etc in the season. Basically, outsource your fodder requirements. It will be within your expense and if I am not wrong, gujrat has very good price for 1 lt milk, so it is not a problem at all. Source whatever is your requirement during season, you will get at very cheap price.

My advice, search the internet more on uses and advantages of silage, it might be life saver for you rather than depending on machines which if your time is not right can become a nightmare.

Good luck.

Well said Nikil.
1 KG of Maize is required for producing 6.5 KG of green fodder hydroponically.
Assuming 15/KG for Maize and every beast require 50 KG of green fodder (considering the dry mass associated) your cost incurred for fodder/beast/day will be Rs.138/- (2.77/KG)

20 beasts = 2769/day (you will have to spend 10,10769/- yearly for fodder alone)

Please think over these figures and check if you can run a farm with decent profits with hydro fodder alone.
PS: The price of Maize is assumed for calculation. It may vary.

Nikhil your are right. we are not against to hydroponics, hydroponics is an emergency fodder solution for livestocks, well did you visit any farms using hydroponics system? ASK them.

Try to make silage the best economic and also long run solution.

Have an nice dairy life.


Hello friends,

After post this topic, i come to know silage is good one…

In silage…dry as well as green … so cattle can get  both at a time… no need to give separate them.

Silage is good to digest…

Hydroponics is not bad… but for milking purpose not better idea…

Hydroponics can use in goat farm… which is better idea.

Thanks once again to all for shared ideas of their years of experience.

Thanks to farmnest admin also…


Have a look at this blog post for evaluation of hydroponic fodder system.

ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdet … tnum=11721



Good blog…

But in india people not accepting this system…

me too like this way, but those are in this forum long time & seniors having good practical experience…

As per their experience better to go with silage…

Maharstra and Goa did research and they are able to make Hydroponic  Fodder in fraction of cost of “Branded” system. just 60K Rs for 10 cow. check out this link
youtube.com/watch?v=neFqY5o … r_embedded

Hello All,

I too agree that silage is a good option. However, to make silage don’t we need fodder ? What if the fodder is not available ? take my case -  I have a farm near Mangalore. In this area the crops grown by farmers are Coconut, Arecanut, Banana and Rubber. None of these will give any output as a feed to my Dairy farm. So, as i understand, Silage is not an option for me.

Please correct me , if my understanding of Silage is incorrect.

-Ganapathi Bhat

Silage will be usefull in cases:

  1. You have a rainfed land and you can grow fodder only June-Oct then grow as much as fodder, prepare silage, feed thruout the year.
  2. You have contracted fodder growing outsider, he can supply a bulk volume at once,- prepare silage.
  3. If you want to rotate crop and want to give a break for 3-4 months for fodder-prepare silage.
  4. If you are anticipating drought and you have enough green fodder-prepare silage and use slowly.

Usage of silage more than 10% will affect the smell of the milk. But it hardly matters if the milk gets mixed in a big container.


Sorry Sri, but I dont agree with your point on smell, there is no change other than an increase in milk production when using silage.
We have been using only silage as our green fodder for last 2 years and we use same milk from our cows at home. So smell is not there.
Dairy farmers should look for silage for all days of the year, it saves lots of time and money on labours as well as reduces daily work.
And as your dairy gets bigger, it is the most practical fodder solution.

Good luck.

I am at a stage where i have to decide to go for Silage or not. Here is what will work best for me - Grow grass in a leased land of 4 acres, Cut all the grass at one shot every 45 days (this is to reduce labor on a daily basis), Prepare Silage and feed only the Silage to the cows. If i feed only the silage and No green grass at all ,  will there be any negative impact if i feed only Silage ? like milk smelling ? cow health issues ? any milk production issues ? Please advice.

The best silage is from maize.
Other grasses have higher water content and could lead to issues.

There is only positive impact of feeding silage. No issues at all, its not like I am selling my product here, its used all over the world.
The dairy farms in Developed countries like Europe or USA or Australia run on silage and lucerene mainly, they dont even discuss anything about green fodder like Napier. This grass has been promoted in Third world countries like in Africa, Asia etc. Its not the right way, if the dairy farms in USA with 500 cows are successfully running, then there is something right that they are doing, we should follow their methods as much as possible. Then you can target at least 50 cows.
Running a commercial dairy farm the way it is promoted in Indian Conditions/Universities/Doctors is not practical and is incorrect. There are better ways to run a dairy farm with less efforts and more profits. Bigger farms in India as well use the silage route; imagine in my case I use 1 ton fodder every day, if I have to go and harvest everyday, it would drive me crazy.
I have already highlighted the benefits of feeding silage in some earlier discussions. Come-on people, think different if you want to move ahead.

Good luck with silage.


Niks Thanks…

Silage can be stored up to 1 year…

Hello Nikhil

How much volume silage give you give daily per cow?
After providing silage other food item provide in which quantity. like dry fodder : ??kg, concentrate : ?? kg, mineral mixture : ?? & any other items??

Can silage be stored upto 1 year?


hello everybody,

Can experienced people please share some knowledge as to …

  1. how many kgs of Maize Silage can be obtained from an acre of Maize plantation?

  2. how many kgs of Silage is to be fed to a Cow as per her milk yield?

  3. what feeds, concentrates, oil cakes etc can be fed along with the Silage?

  4. can Silage be a substitute for Green Fodder through out the year?

Hoping for a sincere reply & advice…


1). One Tonne of Silage per Acre.

2). Corn silage contains 40 to 50% grain.It is an excellent energy source for forage. Silage should be less than 55% of the total diet consumed in a day. Corn silage is a relatively low protein feedstuff. Half of the protein is in the non protein nitrogen form. Feeding milking cows with corn silage must be supplemented with natural protein sources such as soybean meal. A good dairy cow in milk should be fed minimum 25 kg of silage per day. A dairy cow must eat a balanced diet with enough energy, protein, fiber, water, minerals and vitamins to cover her own maintenance and growth as well as milk production and the needs of the growing foetus.

3). A cow will reach her highest daily milk output 6-8 weeks after calving but will only reach her highest intake of dry matter 10-12 weeks after calving.

4). Pelleted cattle feeds from reputed manufacturers, Oil cakes like Gingelly cake, Groundnut cake, Cotton seed cake, Coconut cake, can be fed along with Silage.

5). Forage which has been grown while still green and nutritious can be conserved through a natural ‘pickling’ process. Lactic acid is produced when the sugar in the forage plants are fermented by bacteria in a sealed container (silos) with no air. Forage conserved this way is known as ensiled forage or silage and will keep for up to three years without deteriorating. Silage is very palatable to livestock and can be fed at any time.

The process:-

• Have silage storing structure.
• One cubic meter space / silo can store 500-600 kg of green fodder.
• Harvest the crop in dry matter stage.
• Dry the harvested fodder to bring down Dry Matter to 30-35 per cent.
• Chop the fodder into small pieces of 2-3 cm size using chaff cutter.
• Fill the chopped fodder into the silo, compress it.
• Press the chopped fodder in the silo layer by layer of 30-45 cm.
• Fill it and press it in a compressed manner quickly.
• After filling and pressing, cover and seal the silo with thick polyethylene sheet.
• Give weight by covering it with mud, put weight on top of the sheet to resist wind.
• Open the covers of the silo for feeding, after 50 days.

The fodder crops, such as hybrid napier, maize, sorghum, oats, pearl millet, rich in soluble carbohydrates are most suitable for fodder ensiling. Quality of silage can be improved with the use of suitable additives such as molasses, urea, salt, formic acid etc.

You will need one fodder harvester, a good chaff cutter preferably with blower, something to compress it. Silage is a substitute for green fodder and it can be fed similar to the greens.

Murali Krishnan

Some typing mistake I believe. Silage yield per acre is almost equal to how much green maize you can grow.
My experience is anywhere from 8 - 15 tons. The moisture content of silage is less than green maize, about 10% less, so yield of silage will be 10% less than green maize.

Good luck.