Technology to the Rescue

By Dick Hagen, Hagen and Associates

Livestock producers are fully aware of the ‘big pain’ building in their cost accounting ledger. Feed prices, especially corn, keep escalating. On August 2, Chicago Board of Trade had September 12 futures for corn hovering around $8; September soybeans at $16.35. Chicago Mercantile meat futures were trading at $76.85 for October 12 hogs; cattle at $140.12.

The dilemma? Processors can’t ramp up prices enough to offset increasing production costs of producers without significant resistance from consumers. In essence, increasing meat prices at the retail counter inevitably generates shrinking sales. Rationing is setting in at all levels of the food chain, including pork producers.

Unfortunately no one has the ‘inside intelligence’ to predict how long the belt tightening will last, nor how severe the pain will become. So how do you survive the current squeeze, especially when it continues with such hour-by-hour volatility? Well, after you have answered the question: “How many of my barns will continue to have pigs in them?”, you need to reduce mortalities and improve feed efficiency.

EPI Air to the rescue? Murphy-Brown, LLC thinks so. Their results were solid. They tested EPI technology on 44,000 nursery pigs. Check these rather remarkable results:

  • Average daily gain increased 12.2%
  • Average weights increased by 9.3%
  • Mortalities were reduced by 26.1%

Workers in these Murphy-Brown facilities also appreciate the ‘cleaner air’ environment.

Here’s why: The EPI barns had a 55% reduction in ammonia versus the control barns; a 58.6% reduction in hydrogen sulfide.

Comments John Baumgartner, BEI President, “My question to pork producers is simply this: Is an investment that returns your money within 18 months a good investment? Murphy-Brown estimated their payback at half of that, 9 months. And that was before the drought. In today’s ‘crunch time’ economy with increased feed costs, those return-on-investment (ROI) calculations are even faster.”

Proof of the cost-effectiveness of EPI technology is Murphy-Brown going ‘system wide’ throughout their entire Western Division with EPI units. We’re talking 655,000 nursery spaces plus 864,000 wean-to-finish spaces.

Said Dr. Steve Pollmann, President, Murphy-Brown Western Division, “This is a significant step change in environmental systems. We’re excited. The science is sound. The take away is that EPI in our test runs provided documented evidence of the potential benefit of this technology.”

Sums up Baumgartner, “We think EPI technology is on the threshold of becoming ‘must have’ technology. Especially during these difficult times, improved performance is the key to sustainability and a quick ROI has always made business sense.”

Interested in learning more about EPI technology?  Contact us at 800-823-4234 or follow @EPIAir on Twitter.

New Fashion Pork Commended by Neighbors

New Fashion Pork is a progressive pork production leader that operates on strong relationships, stewardship of the land, and the highest standards in animal care. With a quarter century of experience in the swine industry, the NFP family has the vision to continually improve and enhance their value chain across their operations in Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Now, New Fashion Pork demonstrates how they act on their values, as they take the lead in environmental quality by installing EPI Air in their newest facility northwest of Armstrong, Iowa.

EPI Air Dust Reduction System

Earlier this year, John and Matt Baumgartner of Baumgartner Environics were invited to give a presentation to the Emmet County Board of Supervisors in Iowa on behalf of New Fashion Pork. The Baumgartner’s demonstrated a unique dust emission control device that reduces airborne dust in animal confinements, called EPI (Electrostatic Particle Ionization). This technology, called EPI Air, creates cleaner air by putting negative ions into the animal production air space, trapping dust and impurities, by collecting it on surfaces in the barn.  EPI Air reduces pathogens, gases and odors, improving the air quality for the animals inside and for the neighbors outside the barns.

Win-Win for Pork Producers and Neighbors

EPI Air is a win-win for the both the pork producers and their neighbors, because EPI reduces dust, gas, and odor emissions, and improves animals’ rate of gain while, simultaneously, reducing death loss. New Fashion Pork has been commended by the local Emmett County Board of Supervisors for taking a leadership role in improving environmental quality – proactively being a good neighbor and providing better quality air for the animals.  New Fashion Pork made the clean air choice on their own, without neighbors or the County Board of Supervisors asking them to take action. New Fashion Pork is to be commended indeed.

Read the whole story “New Fashion Pork to be Commended” via Estherville Daily News

Do you know of a Pork or Poultry Producer who could benefit from installing the EPI Air?  Please contact us for more information or comment below.