October is good time for ventilation inspection and maintenance

(Journal photo by Natalie Sleichter.)

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. Iowa State University extension agriculture and biosystems engineer Brett Ramirez said as the weather starts to get colder, it’s critical to get barns ready for winter to help reduce heating costs and provide a good environment for the pigs.

“Routine equipment inspections and maintenance will pay dividends in 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 can 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 Iowa Pork Industry Center is a great tool for this seasonal job. Look for Winter Ventllation Checklist AE3553B, available as a free download from the ISU Extension story.

“Some of the tasks and checkpoints listed might not be intuitive for everyone, so having a detailed list with 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 cautioned producers that because each barn, each system and other contributing factors may be different, not all recommendations listed might be appropriate for every location.