FarrPro, an Iowa-based ag tech startup, has released the results of a second independent trial of its flagship Haven product conducted at a state-of-the-art commercial breed-to-wean facility in Illinois by Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions, the research division of Carthage Veterinary Service Ltd. The results showed reductions in both pre-wean mortality (20.6%) and energy use (68%) compared to the heat lamp control.
Creating a microclimate for the piglets in the farrowing pen, the Haven is made up of an elongated parabolic reflector and a heat element that emits long-wave infrared energy. This type of heat transfer is not only highly efficient but also promotes healthy creep behavior (little or no piling) and early weight gain, and keeps heat from spilling onto the sow, keeping her cool and stress-free.
The CISS trial followed a 2019 pilot study conducted by researchers from Iowa State University at a commercial breed-to-wean facility in Ogden, Iowa. The results of the ISU study were published in the scientific journal Animals last November and demonstrated that the FarrPro Haven reduced pre-wean mortality by 20% and energy use by nearly 50% over the heat lamp control.
On average, commercial pork producers lose around 15% of newborn pigs in the first three weeks of life due to crushing and starvation. A 20% reduction in PWM results in the saving of over one-third of a pig per litter resulting in significant additional revenue for commercial pork producers and show pig breeders alike.
"I have witnessed many worthy innovations for pig housing in my 35-plus years of conducting research in this field and I can honestly say without question that the Haven product developed by FarrPro is at the top in terms of innovation and the prospect for game changing farrowing room productivity," says Steven Hoff, retired emeritus professor of Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering and ASABE Fellow at ISU. "These recent findings, I believe, will propel the Haven system into a standard farrowing room item in the near future."
To meet the growing demand for Haven units, FarrPro has expanded its sales and distribution network to include nationally recognized farm and livestock supplier's QC Supply, Vittetoe Inc. and Sitler's LED Supply. FarrPro looks to continue to expand sales and distribution throughout the United States and into Canada and Europe over the next 12 months.
The company says it is "partnering with top-tier distributors for the Haven is huge, but we are really only getting started. Later this year we will launch the Smart Haven — the industry's first automated health management system."