Ever since Zack Talbert unveiled his Bio Barrier 360 technology at the 2019 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, Minn., the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize recipient has been hard at work perfecting the fumigation system.
Now, almost a year later, Talbert has not only found a way to cut out the use of a hurricane fogger and use fewer chemicals, but he's also developed a fumigation box to get more items through with full coverage faster.
"Since my original research study, there have been three further studies completed and presented by students at AASV [the American Association of Swine Veterinarians]. The studies consistently showed item surface area covered by disinfectants is 50% to 60%, even with multiple foggers," Talbert says. "The data was supportive of the findings that I presented at the Leman Conference. If you think about it, the quantity and time of chemicals being emitted will not change the amount of coverage each item receives with the current methods."
A three-prong, four box-holder series, the Bio Barrier 360 now has an internal misting system, which eliminates the need for a fogger. Operated through a water pump, the chemical and water mixture is sprayed directly at the item that is resting on a rotating prong.
"The Bio Barrier 360 allows objects of many shapes and sizes to be disinfected while resting on the prongs. Several items can be disinfected at the same time with the multiple-pronged design," Talbert says. "The idea behind the internal misting system is, it really concentrates all the disinfectant in one area, allowing full coverage of the items, especially in combination with the rotation."
After receiving feedback from veterinarians and industry members on the Bio Barrier 360, Talbert soon recognized there was still a need for a device that could disinfect multiple smaller items properly. From there, he developed a new fumigation room device, the Biosecurity Box.
"With a clean and dirty side, the Biosecurity Box is almost like a filing cabinet," Talbert says. "There are multiple doors located on two sides to clearly define the clean and dirty lines on the farm. It is important to establish this line in an effort to prevent people from carrying pathogens into the farm through fumigation rooms. Once the door on the dirty side is opened, an object is placed on a wire shelf within the box."
The Biosecurity Box is powered by a motorized water pump and has an internal misting system that outlines the entire inside of the box. The 360-degree internal misting system ensures full surface coverage, eliminating the need to manually rotate items.
There is also a built-in exhaust fan that clears disinfectant fumes quickly and efficiently. All disinfectant liquid stays internalized inside the product, creating a safe environment for workers.
"You're going to get full coverage, and you're going to get it a lot faster, which means you're going to technically use less chemicals," Talbert says. "You're also going to mitigate the chances of pathogens entering the farm through the fumigation room, because items are now being fully covered with disinfectants. Proper spacing is still important to consider when using this product to prevent shadowing effects."
Biosecurity for any operation
While the Bio Barrier 360 may be more applicable to finishing sites, Talbert says the Biosecurity Box could work for any size of operation, from nurseries and sow farms to multipliers and boar stud farms.
Both are available through JBI Distributors and Services, a disinfectant and personal protective equipment company based out of Red Oak, Iowa. The main distributors of the disinfectant Decon7, JBI also has a large presence in the poultry industry, and Talbert says these technologies could work there as well.
With viruses as severe as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Talbert says it only takes a small amount to get into a farm and cause a large problem.
"If somebody was to grab an item, which is acting as a fomite, and then have contact with a pig, a million-dollar loss could ensue," Talbert says. "Biosecurity is an investment that will always give back to you. One does not see the true value in these investments until they are faced with a situation that challenges their biosecurity products and protocols. At that time, a person will then see the true worth of those investments."