Challenging economic times were reflected in the type of products introduced to the pork industry at the 21st annual World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA. The 2009 National Hog Farmer World Pork Expo New Product Review Panel found that the companies were working to fine-tune existing products, sometimes offering a new twist or idea borrowed from non-agricultural product lines that made common products work better for pork producers.
This year's New Product Review Panel included: Joel DeRouchey, a Kansas State University Extension environmental management and swine nutrition specialist in Manhattan, KS; Steve Menke, a swine veterinarian and senior partner with the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic, Ottumwa, IA; Matthew Thome, a farrow-to-finish producer actively involved in the day-to-day operation of his family's farm near Adams, MN; and Joseph Zulovich, a University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineer in Columbia, MO.
Summing up their thoughts about this year's tour, the panel offered these observations:
“I think the show was more focused on smaller ticket items this year,” says Thome.
“Regardless of the economic situation, the people who were making the smaller ticket items seemed to be working hard to improve their product or make something better for the industry,” states Menke.
“There were a lot of interesting products that made sense for producers when you took a closer look at them,” DeRouchey says.
“These were products a lot of people could use. They were not segmented to a particular part of the industry,” Zulovich concludes.
The panel reviewed products that had been introduced to the pork industry within the last year, in order to help highlight products that may be of interest to National Hog Farmer readers. Product nominations were submitted by the companies prior to World Pork Expo. The full list of nominated products and contact information appeared in the May 15, 2009 issue of National Hog Farmer, pages 63-65.
Following is a list of products the panel described as “most promising,” with more details on each in the following pages. Products are not ranked in any particular order.
Feed Ease Splash Feeder - A.J. O'Mara, LLC
AP Air Filtration Systems - AP Systems
SelectDoser Max - Genesis Instruments, Inc.
Di-Kill - Neogen Corporation
MasterLine Injector - Neogen Corporation
Mighty Mack Washer - Swine Robotics, Inc.
Stainless Steel Door - Thorp Equipment, Inc.
Vanberg Metal Coatings - Vanberg Specialized Coatings
Neogen's new Di-Kill rodenticide uses the recently approved, proven-effective active ingredient difenacoum to control Norway rats, roof rats and house mice in and around buildings and inside transport vehicles.
Difenacoum is the only new active ingredient that the Environmental Protection Agency has approved in over 15 years and is also classified as a second-generation rodenticide. The ingredient has been used successfully in other countries prior to obtaining approval in the United States.
Di-Kill is offered in blocks and pellets. Several package size options are available, including 9-lb. and 18-lb. buckets containing ¾-oz. bait chunks, 10-lb. buckets of pellets and 125-count pellet bait packs. Cost varies, but the 10-lb. bucket of pellets costs approximately $28.
Di-Kill's food-grade ingredients are very palatable, thereby enhancing any rodent biosecurity program, says Richard Lang, Neogen Corporation.
“I would like to know more specifics about the active ingredients,” Matthew Thome says. “But it was good to have a different option for rodent control.”
The panel thought the cost seemed to be reasonable based on the product.
Mighty Mack Washer
Swine Robotics, Inc.
The Mighty Mack washer from Swine Robotics, Inc. was designed to meet a need in modern swine facilities for pressure washing with speed and labor efficiency. Swine Robotics is bringing simple, car wash technology to the barn by installing an overhead rail above each row of farrowing crates, gestation stalls, nursery or grow-finish pens. The rail system carries a multi-nozzle wash boom capable of cleaning a 6-ft. area at one time. The washer is powered by a 12-volt battery that lasts approximately eight hours before recharging.Continue on Page 2
High-volume, high-pressure pumps are a key to the Mighty Mack's powerful cleaning capabilities. “The washer uses 20 gal. of water/minute, minimum, or 50 gal./minute, maximum, and can wash a crate in 1-3 minutes. This compares to an average of around 10 minutes/crate when washing with a regular pressure washer,” explains Jerome Mack, president of Swine Robotics, Inc.
The Mighty Mack washer can handle up to 3,000 psi of pressure. The pumps require a 30-50-hp motor to achieve the volume and pressure necessary to run the system. Mack says a pair of 15-hp motors could be used instead of one 30-hp motor, if necessary. An operator uses a rotating handle to move the 140-lb. Mighty Mack washer along.
When the panel asked if additional follow-up cleaning is needed, Mack explains the washing system will clean 98% of the crate. A quick follow-up with a regular pressure washer helps get hard-to-reach areas.
Joseph Zulovich asked what size water line would be required. Mack says the Mighty Mack washer uses a 1-in. main line and ¾-in. hose. If the washer is using 50 gal./min., additional water storage capacity will be needed to supply the unit.
Matthew Thome asked how much water the system is expected to need during operation. “This unit uses the car wash philosophy, which is a proven system. You use the water fast so you can cut the cleaning time,” Mack states.
Mack quotes the Mighty Mack washer price at $7,495 for the cleaning unit. The railing costs around $3/ft. Each battery costs about $125 and is expected to last approximately one year. A one-year warranty covers parts and labor.
Steve Menke asked if a prototype has been used on a farm yet. Mack says the unit had not been used in a barn as of June 2009.
The panel thought the concept was very innovative, but felt water use may be an issue. They agreed that on-farm testing could help perfect the system.
Genesis Instruments, Inc.
SelectDoser Max from Genesis Instruments is a proportional additive pump for pork operations that dispenses vaccines, medications, vitamins and other solutions into high- or low-pressure watering systems. It can also track water flow and total water consumption up to 1 million gallons.
The product can accommodate the variable nature of water pressure from farm to farm. “Some farms may be on city water, while other farms may have around 80 lb. of pressure in their water lines,” says Brian Husby, Genesis Instruments. “This SelectDoser Max unit can be customized for each producer, depending on their needs. It can be used as a doser or as a water meter and offers a variety of flow sensors.”
The SelectDoser Max offers the choice of ¾-, 1¼-, 2-, 3-, 4- or 6-in. flow sensors. Husby says the flow sensors accommodate a variety of different-sized water pipes and are easily plumbed smaller or larger to fit the producer's existing pipeline. “The choice of which flow sensor to use is dependent on the waterflow demands on a particular farm,” he explains.
SelectDoser Max achieves its long-lasting precision through built-in dosing control software that administers solutions into the water system via compression and peristaltic action. It is equipped to handle up to 100 psi. and achieves 95% accuracy with 13 preset ratios. The system is programmed to deliver accurate dosages to the flow of water. The brain box can be customized for exact ratios, or by parts per million (ppm) that a producer would commonly use.
The unit can be programmed in several languages and measurements can be displayed in U.S. gallons or liters. “We have installed sensors in the pumping mechanism that will activate the control box to stop pumping product should a pump tube become worn and break,” Husby says. The SelectDoser Max also has an on-screen option that can activate a shutdown of the system if the flow rate increases beyond the capacity of the flow sensor, which would typically indicate a break in the waterline.
A two-year warranty covers the electronics of the control box. The pumping unit, which is furnished by Stenner, comes with a one-year warranty from the date of purchase.
Joel DeRouchey asked whether the unit would slow down the flow rate in the waterline. “The flow of water will increase or decrease the speed of the pump,” Husby says. “Lower flows will decrease the amount of product that needs to be injected into the water. Higher flows will dictate that the pump increase its rotation so that the exact amount is injected proportionately to the flow of water.”
Steve Menke felt the SelectDoser Max would work well for research applications. “The technology may be beyond the use of the average producer, but that doesn't mean it is a bad product,” he says.
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“The accuracy that it would provide would be beyond anything we have now,” Matthew Thome notes,
“I like the application if it doesn't slow down the water flow rate and volume of water to the pigs,” DeRouchey says. “It's more advanced from a technology standpoint than other dosers. For those who don't have water metering systems, this would be a way to track daily water usage.”
Joseph Zulovich felt the product could be used for whole-farm water treatment. “If you have to use chlorination, for example, this product could help accomplish that without affecting your water system. It has sensors that could deal with bigger pipe sizes. The 100-psi capability would allow you to put the product at the well or at the booster pump that is supplying the farm. The cost would be justifiable if you were using it for the whole farm,” he says.
Husby says the SelectDoser Max sells for between $1,100 and $1,400. The price includes the SelectDoser Max control unit; modified Stenner pump; and assembled, ready-to-install plumbing accessories. The appropriate size tubing is also included and is customized for the farm.
Feed-Ease Splash Feeder
A.J. O'Mara Group
John O'Mara, president of A.J. O'Mara Group, in collaboration with Brehmer Manufacturing, Lyons, NE, had a goal in mind when they created the Feed-Ease Splash Feeder. “Our thinking when designing this feeder was to try to obtain the benefits of wet feeding at a younger age,” he says. The stainless steel feeder makes fresh, wet feed available to weaner through finishing pigs.
Water is contained in a shielded, open water pipe above the feed trough. Pigs work a paddle located above the trough to drop feed and splash down water. As pigs grow, their ability to work the paddle more vigorously means more water and feed are dispensed. Hopper agitation helps high-fat and finely ground feed flow smoothly. An end-of-feeder water cup and water level valve offer additional fresh water. An adjustment lever located on each end of the feeder regulates the amount of feed the pigs can get. Feed flow can be shut off completely using the levers.
The feed pan is 4½-in. deep. A lip on the edge of the trough keeps pigs from dragging feed out of the feeder. The Feed-Ease Splash Feeder's patent-pending design targets pigs from 12 to 300 lb.
The feeder is mounted to the pen with brackets on each end and can be positioned between two pens. A variety of feeder sizes are available. The 84-in.-long, six-hole feeder has a waterer on each end of the feeder.
Joel DeRouchey asked if pellets could be used in the feeder. O'Mara says pellets will work fine.
Matthew Thome and DeRouchey also asked if there is a way to clean out the water intake tube and wondered if feed would end up in the intake area. O'Mara says feed is blocked from entering the intake area. An intake tube cleanout is provided with the feeder.
O'Mara says the company has been testing the feeder for eight months. A six-hole feeder, with three holes on each side, sells for $575. The feeders are covered by a one-year warranty.
“This was an interesting design concept that was different from other wet-dry feeders in terms of the way the feed and water get mixed,” DeRouchey says. “You don't have an actual nipple in the feeder, but instead get water through the splashing.”
“The feeder sets the mixing rate, as opposed to the pigs setting the mixing rate. They don't get feed without water,” Steve Menke observes.
“Being able to shut the feeders off instead of having to run the feeders empty would be convenient,” says Thome.
Joseph Zulovich liked having the gauge at each end of the feeder, making it easy to see feeder settings.
Thorp Stainless Steel Door
Thorp Equipment, Inc.
Thorp Equipment, Inc. introduced the new Stainless Steel Doors to the market in December. The impact-resistant, pre-hung doors are made of two layers of 18-gauge stainless steel and do not require paint. According to Jeff Sauer, Thorp Equipment outside sales manager, the doors are fully insulated and ready to install and feature a double-paned, insulated window.
Designed for interior and exterior use, the doors are approved for highly corrosive conditions, such as hog production facilities. Solid, welded hinges and jambs and reinforced thresholds contribute to the doors' durability. Three extra-heavy-duty, stainless steel hinges are screwed into both the frame and the door. The standard door jamb is made for wood structures, but Thorp Equipment can provide masonry jambs for cement buildings. A flange on the exterior of the door makes installation easy.
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Sauer says all standard-size doors are available, such as 30-, 32-, 36-, 42- and 48-in. models. The company also makes custom sizes and can produce doors that swing upward for hog loading areas, for example.
According to Sauer, the company is completing the process to obtain fire-rated approval for the door. Thorp Equipment is also investigating adding a mechanical door-closing feature.
“There seems to be a lot of door here for the price,” observes Matthew Thome. “They've strengthened some of the major areas where the most wear occurs in order to make the door more durable.”
“Thorp covers a lot of the features that can make doors fail,” agrees Joseph Zulovich. “They've got the door jamb in conjunction with the door so you just have a rough framing. They have ways to minimize impacts on the door based on installation and already reinforced the door to accommodate adding automatic door closers in the future.”
Steve Menke mentioned how important doors can be when it comes to keeping ventilation and proper pressure in hog buildings. The doors sell for around $600 each.
Vanberg Metal Coating Systems
Vanberg Specialized Coatings
Vanberg Specialized Coatings (VSC) metal repair and protection products are designed to quickly and easily repair, coat and protect deteriorating metal surfaces, providing a cost-effective way to extend the useful life of metal.
VSC offers a complete system for metal repair and protection using products formulated to withstand tough, corrosive environments found in hog facilities. “Our area of expertise has been concrete, but recently we've discovered producers are facing problems with metal. There are extensive rusting problems, especially in buildings that are 10 or more years old,” says Paul Vanberg, president of Vanberg Specialized Coatings. The company has worked to adapt and transform metal coating formulations that are used in other industries into products suitable for hog facilities.
The VSC process involves applying three coats of material, including a rust converter, prime coat (which contains a zinc additive), and an optional final coat of paint.
Holes are quickly repaired using a unique Seam Tape that bonds tightly to the metal surface and accepts the coatings. The cost for all three coats would be approximately $0.60/sq. ft., according to Vanberg. The paint formulations are similar to those used on water towers and bridges. The company offers an epoxy and a urethane-based product.
As a first step, Vanberg says it is very important to remove as much existing rust as possible so that the Rust Converter is most effective. A wire brush or pressure washer can be helpful if there are large areas of rust that need to be removed. VSC Rust Converter converts iron oxide into a black inert and stable substance. After applying the rust treatment, Vanberg recommends using VSC Seam Tape, which can be applied to overlapping metal seams, screw heads and all building joints and serves as a durable cover for holes and splits.
The next step involves choosing the right coating for the building. Armorcoat 65 epoxy is the most economical coating, but light colors will discolor when exposed to UV light. It is used where cost is a factor. V-Thane urethane is color stable and exhibits the highest chemical resistance, according to Vanberg. It is best suited for white interior and exterior uses. Both the epoxy and urethane coatings are used for coating sound metal surfaces and will stand up to pressure washing and harsh chemical exhausts.
Acrylic Coating is a membrane that is best suited for exterior applications where structural movement is present and stopping water is required.
Joseph Zulovich asked if any special application procedures need to be followed. Vanberg says special rollers work best for applying the product. Vanberg recommends a ½-in., no-shed roller cover that is suitable for applying solvent-based coatings. It is important that the roller be non-shedding to avoid leaving lint in the paint and to prevent falling apart.
Joel DeRouchey asked how producers should deal with rust on both sides of a building wall. Vanberg says the goal of using the Vanberg Metal Coatings products is to slow down the building deterioration process in order to maintain the integrity of the structure for as long as possible. “Hopefully, treating the source of the rust will prevent further deterioration,” Vanberg says.
Matthew Thome asked about color choices. Vanberg explained white and gray are always available and the company can custom-mix 16 more colors for a slight additional cost.
Steve Menke asked if special ventilation needs to be used when the product is being applied. Vanberg says because solvent products are being used, it is important to have good air circulation when working with the products.
“I think there is merit in the fact that the company has put this application of technology into areas the pork industry needs to address,” Menke states. DeRouchey agrees: “It is important to have a product that can help improve building longevity.”
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“Sixty-cents per square foot does not seem out of line when it comes to the costs of building repair,” Thome notes.
“The company seems to have done its homework into the kinds of repairs that help metal last,” Zulovich says.Contact VSC for more information about the Vanberg Metal Coating products at http://vanbergcoatings.com; call (913) 599-5939, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MasterLine Injectors are ergonomically designed for comfortable durability and are easy to clean. Two styles are available — the F-grip and V-grip options.
The MasterLine Injectors are composed of durable material that is compatible with medicines of different viscosity. Critical parts, such as the barrel body, bottle mount and needle connection are made of metal to avoid breakage. Richard Lang, Neogen Corporation, says the injectors have a life expectancy of roughly 25,000 injections. The MasterLine Injectors are covered by a one-year warranty. If a syringe breaks during that time, the producer can return it for repairs or replacement.
Lang showed the panel how the complete unit can be easily disassembled for cleaning with a mild detergent. The valve system is designed to avoid the risk of small parts falling out of the injector while it is disassembled.
A maintenance kit comes with the injectors. Each kit contains two nylon rings, an O-ring for the barrel, an O-ring for the piston, two valves and a bottle of silicone lubricant. Lang says the silicone keeps the O-rings lubricated to help maintain the seal. The lubricant should be applied every time the unit is cleaned and sterilized.
The EZI-Flow Squeeze Adjuster on the syringe helps handle products of varying viscosities. The F-grip style is available in 0.5-, 1- and 2-ml sizes, while the V-grip style injector comes in 2-, 6- and 10-ml. sizes. Each model features an easy-to-read dial for selecting the dose size. Interchangeable parts make it easy to transform from bottle-mount to feed tube applicator, from vaccinator to drencher, and from injector to drench or pour-on gun.
The retail cost of the MasterLine Injector is $40. The Bottle Mount Injectors come complete with a select-a-dose injector; standard bottle mounts for 20-mm, 28-30-mm and 32-33-mm caps; and a Quick-Fit bottle mount with a 20-mm cap. Vaccinators come with soft PVC tubing with draw-off connection, plus draw-off caps in 20-, 28-30- and 32-33-mm sizes.
The panel was impressed by the one-year guaranty and the available repair kits. “This syringe seemed to be easy to take apart and clean,” says Steve Menke.
“It was a good idea to include the repair kits and the necessary parts to keep the syringe working,” says Joseph Zulovich.
Matthew Thome wondered if the grip would become uncomfortable after giving a large number of shots.
AP Air Filtration Systems
AP (Automated Production Systems)
AP's Pathogen Barrier Air Filtration Systems provide laboratory-tested and field-proven protection from the aerosol transmission of viruses, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). High-efficiency filters used to provide “clean” environments in applications such as hospitals and pharmaceutical and electronics manufacturing facilities are modified and adapted to filter the incoming air used to ventilate swine buildings.
Prefabricated filter ducts are designed to hold the filters and fit between roof trusses. The filter ducts adapt two, four or six of the Pathogen Barrier filters to a ceiling air inlet in order to minimize airflow restriction and allow negative pressure ventilation systems to operate as designed.
Tom Stuthman, Automated Production Systems, says the sealed ducts work well for both new construction and for converting existing facilities to air filtration. No tools are required to change filters or perform maintenance.
The Pathogen Barrier filters can be assembled in a wall bank configuration for neutral and positive pressure ventilation systems, as well as adapted to tunnel- and cross-ventilated buildings.Continue on Page 6
Joseph Zulovich asked how the filter size requirement is determined. Stuthman says that filter counts and sizing are dependent on ventilation airflow rates and ventilation system design.
Pre-filter units are used to capture larger particles before they reach the filter, thus extending filter life. Two models of pre-filters are available; a 2-in. unit is recommended for filter ducts and a more durable, 4-in. unit is recommended for applications where filters are exposed to the elements.
The panel was curious about how often filters need to be changed. Stuthman says pre-filter and Pathogen Barrier filter life can vary depending on factors such as exposure to the outside environment, the amount of particulate matter present and airflow through the filter. Pre-filters need to be changed when they are visibly dirty or when ventilation performance suffers due to airflow resistance. Stuthman recommends producers perform scheduled preventative maintenance to make sure clean pre-filters are in place before warm weather ventilation season begins. Pathogen Barrier filters should have approximately a three-year life span, he says.
AP's systems approach to filtration provides an engineered solution including filters, fans, inlets and controls to adapt filtration to new or existing swine production facilities.
Joseph Zulovich notes that this is the first commercial application of the research regarding how air filtration can contribute to PRRS prevention.
“Up until now, producers have had to build filters like this themselves,” Matthew Thome relates. “I like the filter cartridges because they are easy and simple. The chance of those filters getting damaged seems to be less with the cartridges than if you were sliding filters into an individual slot.”
“It's a great application where it has been used already in boar studs and Level I production,” Steve Menke says. “Producers need to be aware of their ability to manage maintenance in order to maximize the benefit of the product. The product is no better than your commitment to the maintenance of the filters.”
Joel DeRouchey says the location of the hog facilities and the chance of breaking with disease and having to repopulate would be a consideration for producers evaluating the product.
Stuthman says the 10-year cost for applying filtration to a sow unit is calculated to be $1 to $2/weaned pig, including the cost of filter replacements and maintenance, but excluding potential increased energy costs.
Two Products Tie For ‘Producer's Choice’ Honors
Attendees at the 2009 World Pork Expo were given a chance to conduct their own New Product Tour. Each Expo attendee was given a passport to bring along when they visited with company representatives about the new products that had been nominated for the New Product Tour. Votes for favorite products were cast and tallied in the National Hog Farmer booth.
Two products tied for the “Producer's Choice” award — the Neogen MasterLine Injector and the Thorp Stainless Steel Door.