Swine Producers Should Inspect Barn Ventilation before Summer Arrives

April is good time for swine barn ventilation inspection and maintenance

April 15, 2024, 12:37 pm | Sherry Hoyer, 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.

Brett Ramirez, assistant professor and extension ag engineer at Iowa State University, said as the weather starts to get warmer, it’s critical to prepare barns for summer to help fans run efficiently, which will reduce electricity costs and decrease the negative impacts of heat stress on pigs.

“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,” he said. “In the spring, producers can have a lot of things to do, and a checklist helps keep things organized inside the barn.”

The summer ventilation checklist publication from the Iowa Pork Industry Center is a helpful tool for this seasonal job. Look for Summer Ventilation Checklist AE3553A, 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,” Ramirez 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 that each barn and system are different, and therefore not all recommendations in the list may be appropriate.

Ramirez can be reached at bramirez@iastate.edu or 515-294-0468.

Shareable photo: Man checking on a ventilation system for swine. (Photo courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.)

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