Chance to Improve Profitability of Pork Production

by 5m Editor
2 April 2012, at 7:19am

CANADA - A researcher with the Prairie Swine Centre says pork producers can reduce their production costs by paying closer attention to energy use, Bruce Cochrane writes.

"Being Energy Wise, Impact of Heating Systems and Water Conservation" is being discussed as part of the Prairie Swine Centre's series of Spring Producer Meetings, which travels to Portage la Prairie and Niverville on 17 and 18 April.

Dr Bernardo Predicala, a research scientist engineering, says a survey conducted to identify where energy is used in the barn and where consumption could be cut shows heating and cooling costs are critical.

Dr Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre

Key uses that we've seen for energy of course is in heating especially during winter especially in farrowing and nursery areas because in these areas the set-point temperatures are higher than in other areas and these are needed to provide a good environment for the piglets and the sows as well and get them started under good conditions and reduce mortality rates.

During summer, ventilation is a big energy user especially in gestation and breeding and grow-finish areas to provide comfortable conditions for the pigs and avoid subjecting them to heat stress and ensure their optimum feed intake and growth rate over this period.

The key consideration here is to try to reduce the wastage of heat that's needed in running the barns.

One of the factors that we've seen here seems to be that over-ventilation is a common occurrence in many barns and that results in a wastage of supplemental heat as well as wastage of energy used in running the barns.

Among the other factors that can affect heating use as well is insulation level in the barn structure as well as leakages.

As for the ventilation aspect, we have to ensure that the ventilation equipment and the inlets and the shutters, those kinds of things are clean and functioning at their optimum performance level.

Dr Predicala says ensuring sensors, controllers and heaters are adjusted and functioning properly can significantly lower energy costs.

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