Gregg Hora, Iowa hog producer; Clayton Johnson, veterinarian with Carthage Veterinary Service; Mark Knauer, North Carolina State University; and Brett Ramirez, Iowa State University, reviewed nine products in this year’s New Product Tour.

Kevin.Schulz, senior content specialist

July 7, 2020

3 Min Read

U.S. hog producers have seen technology infiltrate their operations, and now BarnTools has merged new technology with an effort to keep farms biosecure to prevent diseases from coming in.

BarnTools is the first and only digital biosecurity platform to help you oversee your farms from your computer or phone. Developed by producers for producers, BarnTools helps you manage farm access using geofencing technology to aid producers in limiting the introduction and spread of disease by controlling movement of employees, contractors, visitors, pigs and drivers, as well as permitting or limiting access based on each farm's biosecurity rules and current live-health status.

In the event of a disease break, BarnTools helps producers capture and report all transactional data and site-specific health and disease information so they can quickly relay this information to state officials to help prove negative status and continue moving pigs.

As every farm is different, Veterinarian Clayton Johnson asked BarnTools' Jim Ryken about the customization of the system relating to health status. "What are my options say for a disease like PRRS?," Johnson asked. "Can I just say positive or negative or can I customize the health status within a disease?"

"We've prepopulated a number of common diseases in the swine industry as part of BarnTools, including PRRS and PED and Myco," Ryken said. "Then we give producers the ability to add their own diseases. In the case of PRRS, you could add a specific strain of PRRS into the system so you could separate and segregate the different strains where that might be occurring in your system."

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Johnson was also intrigued by the geofencing capabilities of the BarnTools system, wondering how widespread the technology can be shared across users in the supply chain, such as feed mills and packers.

"We would hold those in a global account within the system and your company would be able to access those, and a packing plant is a great example," Ryken said. "If you want to know when your driver arrived to the packing plant, what packing plant they came from before they arrive on your farm, that information would be readily available."

Ryken added that producers are also able to share their geo-fences across systems, in an attempt to track all traffic that may be interesting between two farm systems.

"Absolutely. We have a module we call site health sharing program and we've been using that in regions where you've got a few neighbors that are already collaborating. The vets may be trying to remember to talk to each other or send an email and we can put that on a shared map to show where the sick sites are at and that can help you make better decisions about when you're starting a breeding project or something else. … that's informally shared today. BarnTools helps you do that in a very formal way."

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New Product Tour 2020 took place during the National Hog Farmer's Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference in May, where the panel was presented a short video shared by the respective company representatives, after which a brief question-and-answer session allowed panelists to find out more about each product.

About the Author(s)


senior content specialist, National Hog Farmer

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