By Candace Pollock
Source: Glen Arnold
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new tool is now available to Ohio pork producers to help them better manage the environment in their livestock facilities, potentially improving production and boosting overall savings.
Ohio State University Extension has designed a ventilation trailer, complete with all the bells and whistles found in typical mechanically ventilated livestock buildings that simulates various ventilation system scenarios. The idea is to aid producers in fine-tuning their swine building ventilation systems, as well as troubleshooting specific problems.
The ventilation trailer was made possible through donations by the Ohio Pork Producers Council; Farm Credit Services of Mid America; Ag Credit; Ohio State University's Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering; Farmer Boy Ag Systems; and Curry Lumber.
"Most modern swine facilities depend on mechanical ventilation to make animals as comfortable as possible. The more comfortable the animals are, the faster they grow and the more productive they are," said Glen Arnold, an OSU Extension educator in Putnam County. "But it's easy to lose track of proper ventilation maintenance -- to warm the building more or to run the cooling fans longer than need be -- or to miss small problems with the system that could be costing a producer money."
Arnold said that producers could save on utility costs just by improving the efficiency of the system. "Producers can often save $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more in propane expenses just by tweaking the system to make it more precise," said Arnold.
Arnold will share more information about the OSU Extension ventilation trailer at the Ohio Pork Congress on Feb. 6. The event will take place Feb. 5-6 at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about the conference, contact the Ohio Pork Producers Council at (800) 320-7991 or log on to http://www.ohiopork.org.
Arnold said that the trailer itself won't be at the event due to lack of available space, but he will discuss its capabilities, share troubleshooting tips with hand-held equipment, and provide additional information regarding training opportunities across the state later this year.
"We already completed three days of training in January, targeting about 100 pork producers, Extension educators and industry personnel," said Arnold. "We plan to offer additional training sessions throughout the year."
The training will include the ventilation trailer, classroom training and hands-on exercises, along with a training notebook participants can take home and use in their own facilities.
For more information about the OSU Extension ventilation trailer or to schedule a training session, contact OSU Extension swine associate Dale Ricker at (419) 523-6294 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.