US - Reicks View Farms has opened a brand new hog barn near Lawler in rural Chickasaw County. The barn is ultra-modern and designed to be animal and environmentally friendly.
The facility is equipped with all of the newest technology available in pig farming and is uniquely designed to be animal-friendly, environmentally friendly, and downright neighbourly.
The Reicks family hosted an open house to show off the facility’s many environmental amenities on September 15 and around 120 people took the opportunity to check it out, including the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors.
The finishing barn is incorporating new odour reduction technology with state-of-the-art air scrubber and air filtration, the latest feed delivery system, climate control features and more. To facilitate good ventilation, all air will come through a cool cell system, using evaporation to give the pigs the ideal growing environment.
Jerico Construction, a division of Reicks View Farms, designed the building and worked closely with Iowa State University researchers on testing protocol.
“We worked with ISU to achieve an approved national average score of 52 per cent odour reduction,” said designer Justin Haught. “Tests revealed that odour was reduced by at least 80 per cent up to 1,000 feet from the barn.”
The 2,400-head hog building is completely filtered and has top-down ventilation.
“The cool cell will lower the temperature in the barn to reduce electric consumption,” said Dale Reicks.
“We’re also scrubbing the air leaving the barn, which is basically a cool cell pad that catches the dust exiting through the fans. We’ll achieve an average 50 per cent reduction in ammonia and odour emissions.”
Reicks View Farms modeled the barn after those seen by Dale Reicks in Belgium in 2000 and Germany in 2012.
“So, we’ve developed this on our own,” Mr Reicks said.
A wind barrier has been built outside the barn to prevent direct head winds from reducing the barn’s efficiency and as an additional odour reduction tool. The facility is part of an odour reduction pilot project.
“It’s a situation where we want to be friendly and we’ve worked with Iowa State to try to make sure we capture and understand what we’re doing,” Mr Reicks said. ‘There’s some maintenance to it, but we know it will work. It’s going to be good.”
Reicks View Farms has had other non-air scrubbing barns in its system for a year that are providing better rates of gain because of more consistent temperatures in the barn, according to Mr Reicks.
The new concentrated animal feeding operation will serve as a nursery for the Reicks View Farms farrow-to-finish swine production system, which markets 600,000 head of hogs a year. The Reicks family also raises 10,000 acres of corn.
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