Safety when power washing above foaming pits

Many of you have read the press reports of the tragic loss of life in a Minnesota nursery when 2 persons died from a fire when they began to power wash the empty room. While the investigation isn’t complete, I’ve worked with both the production company and the insurance company on this situation and the best guess so far is that the explosion was caused by a space heater igniting methane that accumulated as a result of power washing activities bursting the foam bubbles in the manure pit. Read More...

A personal note

I’m going to veer away from my usual musing of the swine industry this week. On Wednesday morning my wife had a seizure and we learned that her cancer has spread to her brain. The goal of the radiation regimen they began immediately is to slow the progression of the cancer. There is no hope of remission. Read More...

Avian Influenza Thoughts

Driving to a meeting this morning I started thinking about the impact of the on-going avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest. Unlike the PEDv introduction into the US swine industry, avian influenza results in euthanasia of all of the birds at a site. With PEDv we had death loss, but the vast majority of the sows survived an outbreak and producers were able to wean pigs in 3-4 weeks. Read More...

Does the pig do better with constant vs varying temperatures?

Typical ventilation controllers turn devices (heaters or fans) on and off in response to temperature changes as detected by one or more temperature probes suspended in the animal facility. Current ventilation control strategies as implemented by almost all ventilation controllers installed in production facilities contribute to temperature variation.  Read More...

How tunnel ventilated barns really work in hot weather

Many of the readers of this blog have tunnel ventilated wean-finish or grow-finish facilities. Others have seen these type of facilities and have questions about how they function in terms of meeting the heat removal needs of growing pigs. A common question I get asked – how much temperature variation is ‘normal’ for these facilities? Read More...