October Is Prime Time for Ventilation Inspection and Maintenance

Tips to prepare swine barns for winter

October 9, 2023, 9:56 am | Brett Ramirez

AMES, Iowa – Properly functioning ventilation systems are vital to today’s pork production facilities, and following a regular process for maintaining their operation can pay big economic dividends.

As the weather turns cooler, it’s critical to get barns ready for winter to help reduce heating costs and provide a good environment for the pigs, according to Brett Ramirez, agriculture and biosystems engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Checking swine ventilation equipment.“Routine equipment inspections and maintenance will pay dividends in the long run, not only by extending the life of the equipment, but also creating a good environment inside the barn,” Ramirez said. “In late fall, producers often have a lot of things to do, and a checklist helps keep things organized inside the barn.”

A newly released winter ventilation checklist publication from the Iowa Pork Industry Center is a great tool for this seasonal job. Look for Winter Ventilation Checklist AE3553B, available as a free download from the ISU Extension store.

“Some of the tasks and checkpoints listed might not be intuitive for everyone, so having a detailed list with a place for notes is an excellent guide,” he said. “Laminating a printed copy to keep in the barn also allows a person to mark what they found, and then easily clear it for the next year."

Ramirez cautions producers that because each barn, system and other contributing factors may be different, not all recommendations listed might be appropriate for every location.

Shareable photo: Checking swine ventilation equipment (photo courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines).

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