Optimization of Water Use Efficiency of Hydroponic Maize Fodder Production System under Different Microclimatic Conditions

Adarsha Gopalakrishna Bhat *

Division of Agricultural Engineering, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, PUSA, New Delhi, 110012, India.

A. Jinu

Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 679573, India.

K. K. Sathian

Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 679573, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aims: Hydroponic method of producing fodder is an advanced technique which helps to achieve very high-water use efficiency (WUE). The main objective of the study was to optimize WUE by controlling the system and reducing the stress on the crops to give higher yield.

Study Design: The experiment employed a statistical design known as Completely Randomized Design Place and duration of the study: The experiment was carried out in the Precision Farming Development Centre (PFDC) building, Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (KCAET), Tavanur during May and June 2021.

Methodology: Three different water application methods namely, mist (I1), micro sprinkler (I2), fogger (I3) was selected. Artificial light source of LED red (L1), LED blue (L2), LED red + blue (L3) and sunlight (L4) were considered for the study. Statistical analysis was conducted to understand the significance of different treatments used in the experiment in optimizing yield and WUE of the system.

Results: Highest yield was observed in treatment involving fogger irrigation and LED red + blue (2.11 kg/tray) with highest WUE (515.43 kg/m3) compared to other treatments. Seed to fodder ratio obtained was 1:6. Chemical analysis showed higher percentage of crude protein (13.56%) and crude fibre (12.59%) in this treatment. Higher growth of green fodder under artificial light source can be attributed to the continuous supply of energy compared to highly varying sunlight and also the uniform distribution of water by fogger irrigation which maintained favourable condition for fodder growth.

Conclusion: Results clearly indicated that growing green fodder with artificial light source (LED red + blue) and water supply with fogger can be recommended to farmers for achieving better growth of green fodder for domestic animals.

Keywords: Hydroponics, water use efficiency, LED, green fodder


How to Cite

Bhat, Adarsha Gopalakrishna, A. Jinu, and K. K. Sathian. 2023. “Optimization of Water Use Efficiency of Hydroponic Maize Fodder Production System under Different Microclimatic Conditions”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (9):3354-67. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i92588.

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