Farmscape for January 30, 2020
|Full Interview 9:38||Listen|
An Assistant Professor with Iowa State University says maintaining proper barn ventilation is a key component of ensuring the health and productivity of both pigs and people and maintaining profitability. “Managing Ventilation in the Barn” will be among the topics discussed next week in Winnipeg as part of the 2020 Manitoba Swine Seminar.
Dr. Brett Ramirez, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, notes the goal of ventilation of in winter is to maintain proper relative humidity and concentrations of noxious gasses and in summer to maintain a temperature that will keep the pigs thermally comfortable.
Clip-Dr. Brett Ramirez-Iowa State University:
Especially during cold weather there are two major challenges. One is maintaining a thermally comfortable indoor environment. That’s temperature, moisture, gas concentrations and also conserving energy to help keep operating costs down. There’s a delicate balance between maintaining those proper thermal conditions and acceptable levels of air quality with those cost effective management strategies. If we have poor ventilation during these times, we can really reduce building integrity, pig performance, drive up those heating and electrical costs and amplify all these other health effects inside the barn. Rarely is ventilation the number one cause of costly problems with the barn but it’s really a factor that amplifies or can be a tool to help mediate situations.
It can really drive up heating costs. Poor maintenance and management of equipment can have heaters run inefficiently, fans run inefficiently. Poor air quality and too much moisture or too dry inside the barn in winter can lead to potential upper respiratory problems with pigs. At the end of the day it really comes down to profitability, making sure all those pieces are in place to maintain a profitable operation.
Dr. Ramirez says additional information and fact sheets on ventilation are available on line through the Iowa States University web site.
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