Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Lau, A.K., A.T. Vizcarra, K.V. Lo and J. Luymes
Publication Date: January 1, 1996
Reference: Canadian Agricultural Engineering 38:297-304.
Country: Canada


Recirculating air filtration systems were tested to reduce dust and bacteria levels inside the feeder barns of a hog farm in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Design of the air filtration systems had to be reconciled with the existing structures and ventilation system in the barns. Multiple fabric filters and a high-voltage, plate-type electrostatic precipitator were selected as dust collection devices for the grower and finisher barns, respectively. Each barn was partitioned into two halves with one serving as the experimental unit equipped with the air filtration system and the other as the control unit. Recirculation air flow rate was set at 20 air changes per hour which lies between the summer and winter ventilation rates. Monitored parameters included air quality indices (respirable and inhalable dust levels, bacterial counts, and ammonia level), environmental and operating parameters (temperature, relative humidity, filter pressure drop, and air flow rate), and animal performance (average growth rate, carcass grading, and necropsies). Visits to the farm were conducted regularly once a week during the first 9 months and subsequently once every two weeks during the rest of the 18-month period of the study. The air filtration systems effectively reduced dust levels and aerial bacteria counts inside the pig barns although their efficiency was dependent upon air recirculation flow rate, location, size, and number of inlets and outlets, and humidity. Although the effect on indoor ammonia level was indeterminate, air filtration resulted in reduced prevalence of enzootic pneumonia and atrophic rhinitis among the pigs. It also accelerated animal growth as evidenced by an increase in average daily mass gain which translated to a shorter number of days to market. Air filtration showed no significant effect on the temperature and humidity inside the barn. The electrostatic precipitator exhibited higher dust removal efficiency during winter and spring time and was almost as effective as the fabric filter during the other seasons of the year. In terms of bacteria reduction, the electrostatic precipitator was consistently more effective than the fabric filters.

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