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The Ag Engineering Update

The latest and greatest from your livestock engineers.
Animal Housing
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New deep-pit beef gestation barn opens in Pike County IL

O wners of a brand new beef barn, utilizing a 10' deep pit under slats for manure collection, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10, 2016, at their ranch in Pike County. A large group was on hand, including representatives of the construction company, lumber and materials providers, the Illinois Livestock Developers Group, key commodity groups, fi...

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Manure Gases are DEADLY

Date: August 18, 2016 Source: Richard Gates, 217-244-2791, rsgates@illinois.edu News Writer: Leanne Lucas, 217-244-2862, llucas@illinois.edu Hydrogen sulfide and methane gasses from liquid/slurry stores can be lethal. Remember key safety rules bef...

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Some Past Presentations

During February 2016, Rich Gates and myself have had a few of opportunities to give some different presentations. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week we attended the IL Pork Expo in Springfield, IL. With the new location in Springfield IL, it was exciting to see the new layout for the floor and the legislative reception was a noteworthy new event this year. On the expo floor we hosted a displ...

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HayUnroll
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Unrolling Hay

Round bales are a cost effective way to purchase the hay. However, there are some concerns with feeding these large round bales, and sometimes people look for a way to feed part of a roll at a time or spread the roll over a larger area. For animals in a barn, often feed is supplied in a trough, making hay bales inappropriate. Some people feeding in a field do not have hay rings or do not like t...

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Emergency power supply

Recently, I have been thinking about purchasing a generator for my farm. The requirement for an emergency power supply is not always necessary, but should be considered, particularly if you have animals. Power requirements for livestock are critical as power is often used for ventilation, and for supplying feed and water. I am fortunate, as I have a small cattle operation where I can supply all...

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FanDiversions

Stopping backdraft on ventilation fans in the winter

Backdraft is when air flows the wrong way through an opening. Typically barns are set up so outside air moves through an inlet, across the animals and the fans pull it back outside. When backdraft occurs, outside air moves into the barn through the fan. The main reason drafts come through the fans is the wind is blowing towards the fan. The winter is particularly susceptible to this phenomenon...

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Constructing a Hoop Barn

When I am not working as an agricultural engineer, I spend my free time farming on a cattle and hay operation. Recently, we have been working to expand the hay sales, and last year we decided to put up 2 new hoop barns. Previously we had 1 hoop barn on the property that was put up by a company. We decided to expand the hay storage for a total of 3 hoop barns. In order to reduce costs we decided...

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Ever wondered how far apart your barns need to be for adequate ventilation, then look no further.

How much space is needed between naturally ventilated buildings? Separation distances between buildings are not always the primary consideration when anticipating building a new structure, but poor planning will lead to headaches later. Typically a 50-60 foot space between buildings is recommended for fire safety, however often that distance is less than appropriate for...

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Winter Fans

Barn Winterization: 7 Tips for Getting Your Barn Ready for Winter

There are many things you can do to reduce the amount of energy your facility uses this winter, while improving the indoor environment your workers and animals. This article address seven ways to winterize your barn this fall to save on fuel and energy cost this winter and improve indoor air quality. Fill of the Tank Check Heater Function Turn Back Variable He...

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