Farmscape for April 20, 2012
A new decision support tool being developed by the Prairie Swine Centre will assist pork producers in selecting the most cost effective heating system for their individual barns.
Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre has shown selecting the right heating system can cut heating costs by as much as half.
Data collected through that work is being incorporated into decision support software that will help pork producers identify the heating systems that best suit their barns.
Research scientist engineering Dr. Bernardo Predicala says, because different barns have different characteristics, the findings can not be uniformly applied so the intent is to develop software that will allow producers to apply the information according to the specifics of their own barns.
Clip-Dr. Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre:
Our hope is or our goal is when the producer or the user uses it the first thing that they have to input are the characteristics of their own barns, how big is the barn, what's their insulation values, how many pigs, production numbers, those kinds of things, all those factors that will affect actual energy usage in a barn.
Once the user has been able to input that then the tool is supposed to calculate estimated heating requirements for the particular barn over the course of a year.
Built into the software there'll be the different measures that we look at like different heating systems or different insulation values or doing some measures within the barn and if the user selects that option then the software will calculate a new estimate of the heating requirements and then they can compare that to the baseline, that's without any measures applied, and the software will give the user an estimate of how much saving he will realize by using these different options.
Hopefully from there they can make their own management decisions among the different options on which one they would apply into their own barns.
Dr. Predicala expects to have a final version of the software ready for testing by the middle of this year and once that's complete a user's guide will be developed and the tool will be made available to producers.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council