The BHU Future Farming Centre

Information - The FFC Bulletin - 2017 V3 July

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Sprouted seeds for chickens and tractor tyre app

By Charles Merfield

Sprouted seeds for chickens

An interesting study as part of the innovativefarmers.org field labs.  Groups of hens were fed their usual ration for six weeks and then a mixture of 50% sprouted barley and 50% layers pellets for a second six week period. The birds were fed the same weight of food over the whole trial, but the water content of the sprouts meant there was a big difference in dry matter intake. When on the diet of sprouted seeds, the hens were receiving 25% less dry matter, without affecting their weight or production. In fact, egg production was actually higher when the hens were fed on sprouted seeds.  Unfortunately the trial design is rather flawed as half the groups of hens should of been on dry grain and the other half on the sprouted grain, but, as there is a big difference in dry matter, which should result in commensurate big drop in production, so that production was maintained is very interesting.  A clear case of more research required, but, its the kind of trial that would be easy to do on your own chickens / poultry.  https://innovativefarmers.org/news/2016/december/19/sprouted-seeds-for-reduced-feed-bills/

Tractor tyre pressure app

And for something completely different. Soil compaction from machinery is an ongoing bug-bear for soil scientists who keep going on and on at producers about it, because, after incorrect soil nutrient levels, compaction is the biggest killer of crop yield and soil health, yet compaction management is often less than ideal as it is hard to avoid.  So a tractor tyre pressure app from Firestone for android and iPhone aims to help farmers get the right pressure, especially for modern radial tyres which can have a big bulge at the bottom that looks like under-inflation.  If the pressure is too high, it not only increases compaction, but also reduces tyre life, i.e., costs money.  So, a nice example of a win-win.