BEI and Broilers

By Dick Hagen

 

It’s simple…Clean Air is Better!

Nine years ago, John & Matt Baumgartner, entrepreneurial spirits from Olivia, MN began working with some ‘gee whiz’ technology now called EPI Air.  That’s short for air quality improved through electrostatic particle ionization. It refers to air-scrubbing by negatively charged ions that clear the air of dust, harmful gases and pathogens.

After several trips back to the drawing board, EPI Air is now accepted by the livestock industry as a robust, user friendly technology poised to change the way confinement livestock producers manage air quality for their livestock.

Now forward move to the most vertically integrated livestock industry in America…the Broiler industry.  Check these numbers:  In 1950 this young industry produced 1.381 billion lbs. of ready-to-eat- broiler meat.  By 2000, that number had exploded to 30.209 billion lbs.  For 2014, the estimate from the U.S. Broiler Council is 38.040 billion lbs.

So might this intensely concentrated industry have a need for cleaner air? “You bet”, thought the Baumgartner team.  However to verify they, along with Gro Master, the major distributor for EPI Air, asked key broiler industry players what they thought.  “Indeed, indeed”, was their collective response; cleaner air is even more important now because the broiler industry is in the midst of switching to antibiotic-free production practices.

Industry integrators directed the Baumgartner team to the UGA Department of Poultry Science.

Bottom line: the world’s foremost experts in basic ionization technology have been assembled to measure the impact of EPI Air on a modern broiler production house. And now some eggs have hatched!

As of December 9th, about 28,000 newly hatched chicks in each of two 50’ x 500’ Georgia broiler houses are spending the next 49 days under the influence of EPI-Air. Broiler birds grow fast…49 days from 8-ounce peeps to 6 lb. broilers.

Their objectives:

  • Evaluation of the EPI-Air electrostatic space charge system on broiler performance and house environment. That includes bird growth, bird water consumption, and bird mortalities.

With very specific instruments they will be monitoring:

·                  Particulate concentrations ·                  Bird growth
·                  Ammonia concentration ·                  Bird water consumption
·                  Salmonella ·                  Airsacculitis
·                  Campylobacter ·                  Bronchitis challenge

Commented Matt Baumgartner, BEI General Manager, “This is the most comprehensive broiler test protocol EPI-Air has ever been a part of.  We have total respect for these trials.  Favorable results can have a tremendous impact on the industry.  We’re told that condemnations cost the U.S. broiler industry about $6 million a week.”

“If our system significantly reduces air pollution and thus reduces inflammation of the air sacs within these birds, there could be significant reductions in condemnations.  Even a small improvement could save the industry a lot of money.”

The industry is very much aware of growing consumer resistance towards meat products from antibiotic treated sources, thus the move away from systematic antibiotic use.   And fewer birds per house (reduced stocking densities necessary to maintain flock health) immediately add to costs per bird produced and does negative things to ROI data (Return on Investment).

Summed up John Baumgartner, “EPI-Air is intriguing because it can improve bird performance and health naturally, meeting consumer demand for antibiotic-free production. Based on all the data we have accumulated from the swine industry, plus data from independent testing carried out by the British Columbia poultry industry (In conjunction with the University of British Columbia), we’re confident cleaner air for these broilers will significantly improve bird health and production.”

“The net result should be improved ROI.  As an example, the British Columbia, Canada study generated a 3 point improvement in feed conversion over a 10-cycle test in 20,000 broiler capacity houses.   Throw in a significant reduction in condemnations, ammonia, as well as pathogen load in the air and this could be game changing.”

Operational costs of EPI-Air are minimal… in a 50’ x 500’ broiler house the operating cost is about the same as the cost of lighting two 100-watt bulbs.  EPI Air is easy to use, too; it is low maintenance and durable.

Today the broiler industry is prospering. Thanks to cheaper feed costs and a continually growing public appetite, it may get even better.  Consumption of broiler and chicken meat is now 100 lbs./capita/ year, essentially the equal of red meat consumption.  Also poultry exports keep growing.  However, the growing consumer demand for antibiotic free broilers could emerge as the biggest overall factor in this new technology.

Note that 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the first Buffalo Wing.  The Anchor Bar, Buffalo, New York is where this savory concoction first was served. According to the National Chicken Council 2014 Wing Report, 1.25 billion wings will be devoured during Super Bowl XLVIII.  That is about 20 million more wings than were consumed during last year’s Super Bowl.  The NCC estimated 4% more chickens (not broilers) were produced in 2014 than the previous year.

 

 

EPI system has potential to reduce exposure to zoonotic agents to producers and swine workers and improve the overall health and well-being of pigs and people.

Pork Checkoff 2014 Research Highlights:

13-025

Evaluation of the electrostatic particle ionization technology to decrease the risk of zoonotic infections

Principal Investigator: Montserrat Torremorell
University of Minnesota

Objectives:

The overall goal of this project was to evaluate a commercially available air sanitation technology, the EPI system, as a novel tool to decrease the risk of two important airborne zoonotic agents, IAV and S. aureus.

The specific objectives were:

  1. To determine, under controlled conditions, the effect of the EPI system on the quantity and viability of influenza virus in experimentally generated aerosols.
  2. To determine the effect of the EPI system on the quantity and viability of aureus in experimentally generated aerosols.

Results:

  1. Our results indicate the EPI system was effective at reducing the levels of IAV and aureus generated experimentally in the air. Reduction levels between the system “off” and “on” ranged, between 0.56 and 2.58 logs per m3 of air for IAV, and 0.62 and 1.35 logs CFUs/m3 of air for S. aureus.
  2. Under the conditions of this study, relative humidity did not affect the efficiency of the EPI system and reduction levels were greater for both pathogens when the EPI line was installed at 3 m from the ground which also corresponded to the closest distance to the aerosol source.
  3. In summary, the EPI system has potential to reduce exposure to zoonotic agents to producers and swine workers and improve the overall health and well-being of pigs and people.

Electrostatic Particle Ionization Offers Option for Reducing Airborne Transmission of PRRS

 

Dr. Qiang Zhang, a researcher with the University of Manitoba, says electrostatic particle ionization offers swine producers an easy to use option for reducing the airborne transmission of PRRS.

Read the article here.

 

http://www.farmscape.com/f2ShowScript.aspx?RS

Veterinarians On Call

Ice cream and clean air for pig herd at Ness Farms

Can EPI Air help in the control of PED virus?

It’s well known that PEDV (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) is transmitted by fecal contact. However, in situations where producers have high biosecurity standards, PEDV breaks can still take place…why is this happening? Could PEDV also be airborne?

That question challenged the combined minds of University of Minnesota Swine Disease Eradication Center scientists Carmen Alonso, Montserrat Torremorell, Peter Raynor, Dane Goede, and Peter Davies. In March, 2014 the team documented and released information confirming that PEDV can be airborne and infectious when airborne.

This same team was already working on air decontamination technologies to reduce the load of influenza and PRRS viruses from the air and they expanded the study to include PEDV.

With funding by the UMN College of Veterinary Medicine, the National Pork Board, and the Swine Disease Eradication Center, this research team established a singular objective: To quantify the impact of the EPI technology at removing PRRS, influenza and PED viruses from aerosols generated by experimentally infected pigs.

Their testing methods involved collecting air samples for 24 days from an environment where 6-week-old pigs had been inoculated with influenza, PRRSV and PEDV. The researchers measured total airborne particles, total airborne viruses and virus particles as a function of size with the EPI system both on and off.

With data just released May 28, 2014, this team shared these conclusions:
◦The EPI system was effective at reducing influenza, PRRSV and PEDV from the air.
◦There was a reduction of 1 to 2 logs of RNA viral particles from the air.

Summed up Dr. Torremorell, “Despite the fecal-oral route of transmission, viable PEDV can be found in the air of infected environments. Strategies for preventing the airborne transmission of PEDV should be considered as part of comprehensive biosecurity and disease control programs.”

Commented Matt Baumgartner, General Manager, BEI Inc., the Olivia, MN firm that markets EPI Air technology, “We’re excited. Our ‘clean air’ technology for dust control is convincingly being accepted by some of the bigger hog producers in our country because of a quick return on investment. Now producers can also strategically employ EPI Air technology to take biosecurity to the next level at no additional cost. When you add to that the cleaner air environment for people in the barn you have a big win-win-win.”

BEI officials will display their clean air technology at June 4-5-6 World Pork Expo. For immediate contact go: www.epiair.com

http://www.swineweb.com/can-epi-air-help-control-ped-virus/

U of M research shows PEDV is airborne and infectious

Written by Dr. Montserrat Torremorell

EPI Air will be at WPX Booth – 567 VIB. Visit with us to learn how EPI Air can reduce airborne disease threats.

Is PED virus airborne and infectious?

A completed study at the University of Minnesota shows PED virus can be airborne and infectious while airborne.

Pigs weighing about 16kg each were experimentally infected with PEDV.  Air samples collected 1 to 3 days post infection tested positive for PEDV and had between 1.00E+7 to 1.00E+8 of PEDV RNA copies per cubic meter (m3) of air.  PCR Ct values ranged between 22.66 and 26.31. Both Cyclonic and Anderson air collection instruments confirmed airborne PEDV from experimentally infected pigs.  Virus was found on all measured particle sizes, but predominantly in larger size particles.

Air samples were also tested to determine whether they were infectious. Sentinel pigs were inoculated with the positive air samples and all inoculated pigs developed PED disease and tested positive for PEDV demonstrating the presence of live virus.

These findings indicate that viable PEDV can be found in air samples collected from contaminated environments. Strategies for preventing the airborne transmission of PEDV should be considered as part of a comprehensive biosecurity and disease control program.

Work is in progress to determine strategies, such as the use of ionization, to decrease the presence of PEDV from the air.

EPI Air will be at WPX Booth – 567 VIB Visit with us to learn how EPI Air can reduce airborne disease threats.

EPI – On the Air with Joe Gill

KASM Farm Director Joe Gill recently interviewed Matthew Baumgartner.  This interview was aired on 1150 AM Radio.

 

EPI – On the Air with Mike Murphy

Fairmont, MN radio station KSUM/KFMC interviewed Matthew Baumgartner of BEI at the MN Pork Congress.  Listen to the interview here:

 

Stopping Dirty Air May Stymie PRRS

 

National Hog Farmer
November 15, 2013
By Joe Vansickle

NHF_1.indd

Preliminary results using cleaning technology in barns show promise.

Minnesota swine veterinarian Gil Patterson looks for three things when he walks into a hog barn:  feed, water and air quality.

“You’ve got to have those things right before you can really dig into other issues.  If there is a dusty, poorly ventilated environment, then it is uncomfortable for both pigs and farm employees, often leading to reduced growth and poorer-quality chores,” says the St. Peter, MN, Swine Vet Center clinician.

Continue reading:

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/63979928#/63979928/6

EPI Air is on the cover of National Hog Farmer!

EPI Air is on the cover of the November issue of National Hog Farmer!  New research by Dr. Gil Patterson (Swine Vet Clinic) and U of M Researchers points to EPI Air having an impact on reducing PRRS.  Read all about it.

 

It just makes sense…clean air is better!