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Fodder King Introduces Lucerne

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Fodder King  is building on an idea that led to a world-first technological breakthrough on the harvesting of ‘Medicago Sativa’, or lucerne, and with the rapidly rising demand for high quality food across the world, the timing is right.

Feeding the Masses  

Fodder King have identified a problem that needs to be solved: a catering problem, caused by billions of people in developing countries around the world with rising living standards and disposable incomes, developing a keen appetite for more nutritious food. They are demanding higher levels of protein and energy and often this means western style foods.  

This presents a huge opportunity for Fodder King, an enterprise that is firmly placed at the source of the food chain.

Animals generate most high protein foods in the form of milk, meat or fish, and lots more will be needed. However, agricultural resources of land and water are shrinking, due to urbanisation, land degradation, desertification, pollution, over exploitation and possibly even climate change. Even if there was more suitable grazing land available, it doesn't make sense to lose about 50 per cent of productivity while the animals soil the pastures with their waste products and trample the plants underfoot. Supplementary feeding or even feeding them intensively would solve this problem.  

Lucerne hay is the best balanced and most nutritious natural fodder readily available for intensive feeding. As a supplier of high quality lucerne fodder products, this is where Fodder King’s future lies, where the opportunities for increasing domestic livestock and fish production exist and the prospects for lucerne fodder export arise.

Attributes of the King of Fodders  

Over the years, Fodder King has learned a great deal about lucerne, such as its productivity and the quality of its foliage, and its ability to endure and tolerate grazing, cutting, drought, heat and cold. Lucerne has also been proven to be a far better animal feed than grass, in terms of providing more energy and a higher feed conversion ratio.  

This nutritional performance knowledge is put to good use in the gruelling endurance rides of more than 100 kilometres a day, which are being won by horses fuelled on a similar diet of lucerne hay and vegetable oil. Melbourne Cup runners include lucerne in their diet, as do high performing dairy cattle. The average milk yield of Australian dairy cows is around 5,000 litres/year, but this is minimal compared to the 12,000 litres/year averaged by Saudi Arabian cows. The difference is in the feed. In Australia cows are mostly fed on pasture; whereas in Saudi Arabia (which isn't known for its lush pastures) the main component of their feed is lucerne hay. The cows have the same genes, but different feed produces a noticeably different output. 

Genuine Green Gold  

Green leafy lucerne hay is palatable and nutritious. Good quality hay will contain high levels of energy, protein and minerals and be rich in vitamins A, E, D and K. Irrigated lucerne possesses a remarkable capacity for the rapid and abundant regeneration of dense growths of new stems and leaves following cutting. Fodder King aims for as many as 6 cuts of hay at a yield of up to 3 tonnes/hectare in one growing season. That is high yielding performance and the further north its operations are extended, the better it will get.  

The lucerne plant grows to almost one metre in height, can live for 20 or more years, and has a taproot that can descend as deep as 15 metres (50 feet) in its search for moisture. This enables it to survive droughts when other plants will wither and die.

Lucerne is a legume, like beans, peas, lupins and clovers, and provides a home on its roots for tiny nodules of Rhizobium bacteria. The bacteria supplies nitrogen to the plant, which is then passed on to animals when they eat it. Nitrogen is a key element of the proteins which constitute the muscle (red meat) in animals.  

Lucerne Supercharges Other Crops  

Lucerne progressively releases plant available nitrogen into the soil. This nitrogen then becomes available for the next crop when it is sown, making lucerne an excellent rotation crop. Cotton farmers have illustrated this, obtaining an increased cotton yield of 20 to 30 per cent from paddocks in which lucerne was previously grown.  

Cleansing and Utilising Wastewater  

Lucerne plants are ideally suited to absorb large volumes of wastewater, utilising the nutrients and eliminating the need and cost for expensive treatment. The sustainable removal of nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous by lucerne hay production can be closely monitored to avoid possible contamination of groundwater or surface water flows. 

Making a Difference  

Fodder King's hay-making technology has led to yet another distinctive advantage, in that it improves the quality of the proteins in the hay so that the animal is able to utilise a greater proportion of the feed than normal.  

Fodder King hay is not made conventionally: its technological breakthrough has improved the weighted average protein and energy levels by up to 30 per cent.  

Fodder King aims to continue the success of lucerne in the 21st century and become one of the leading fodder companies in the world.

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