Destiny Ag asks farmers to fill out survey on its fodder growing system

THE PROCESS: Thierry Veilande and Chris Morris, seen preparing trays of barley at the Destiny Ag site in Bathurst earlier this year. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 012919cdestiny2
THE PROCESS: Thierry Veilande and Chris Morris, seen preparing trays of barley at the Destiny Ag site in Bathurst earlier this year. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 012919cdestiny2

DESTINY Ag is looking to refine its hydroponic fodder growing system, but not without input from farmers in the Bathurst region.

The system has been trialed this year and the feedback from farmers is that, in its current format, it is quite labour intensive.

It requires people to load numerous trays containing grain into a modified shipping container, moving them down a narrow corridor.

"[The trials] quickly led us to conclude that that particular design was quite labour intensive," Destiny Ag founder David Cumming said, adding that they couldn't get the turnaround time for a daily crop of fodder below two and a half hours.

"We felt that producers weren't necessarily going to warm to that idea."

However, the fodder it produces continues to be a great source of food for stock.

"We continued to reliably produce high-quality feed that was certainly very well received and delicious and nutritious for the animals," Mr Cumming said.

"Really, it's a case of coming to market with a better solution for graziers."

Mr Cumming said the goal is to make the process of fodder growing "far more accessible and less laborious".

To help with the redesign, Destiny Ag has developed a survey for farmers to complete that will inform the way forward for the system.

The survey asks a range of questions, including how much time they would be prepared to put in to produce each tonne of fresh fodder, and how much they would realistically pay per day, per tonne of daily fodder production capacity.

A $5 donation to Rural Aid will be made for each of the first 200 surveys completed.

People can complete the survey by clicking this link.

If Destiny Ag can refine its system so it is not as labour intensive, it could be a fantastic tool for farmers during the drought and beyond.

"We don't want to impose an inferior option on local producers, however the reason we got into this was to provider farmers with an additional production option to allow them to cope with the increasing intensity and volatility of their climate and production environment," Mr Cumming said.

"...We're trying to encourage and work with farmers to see a future where they might have more control over their inputs and less uncertainty in their farming lives."

Farmers who want to find out more about the system can visit www.destinyag.co.