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Archive for April, 2013

If you are looking for ways to add value to your farm business or increase your profit margins check out the Evaluating Value Added Opportunities e-learning modules. Generating Ideas

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Water management

Water is an essential element in livestock production.  It’s important to properly manage this natural resource, especially when the weather turns warm.  Here are five ideas on how to do that.
 
Start by doing a water audit. Wasted water costs money to pump and to dispose of.  If you’re serious about water management, install a meter and compare consumption with what the animals need, as a means of detecting problems.  For grower and finisher pigs water requirements have been found to be about 2.3L for every kilogram of feed consumed.  For sows on a farrow to finish farm, average daily usage has been found to be around 78L per sow. 
 
Second, check drinker placement.  Mounting nipple drinkers correctly reduces wasted water. For drinkers pointed straight out pigs should drink from shoulder height. For drinkers mounted downward at 45º the drinker should be 5cm above the back of the pig. Mounting lower will increase water wastage because the pigs can’t access the drinker properly.  Generally, drinkers should be set for the height of the smallest pig in the pen.  In research trials, however, providing a step for smaller pigs instead of mounting the drinker lower resulted in a 13% reduction of water waste, and reduced manure volume by 10% compared to a conventional setup.
 
Third, check drinker flow rates. Flow rates determine time spent at the drinker, water intake and water wastage, but too little will adversely affect feed intake and animal growth performance. Recommended flow rates are 1,500 ml/min for lactating sows, and 700 ml/min in the grow-finish barn.
 
Fourth, consider alternatives to nipple drinkers.  Cup or bowl drinkers have been shown to reduce spillage by 10-15%.  Wet/dry feeders in the grow finish phase can reduce water use by 34%, and slurry volume by 20-40%, compared with dry feeders and a bowl. Wet/dry feeders have been shown to increase consumption of mash diets compared to dry feeders and a separate drinker,
resulting in a 5% improvement in average daily gain. Be sure they are properly adjusted.
 
Finally, assess the diet.  Feeding a diet containing excessive protein or excessive mineral levels results in increased water usage. 
 
And, of course, remember that temperature impacts water requirements. For example, every 1º above 20ºC results in a sow drinking 0.2L more water each day.
 
And, since we’re looking forward to summer weather, this is a good time to give ventilation systems a tune-up to make sure they are ready to cope with summertime demands.

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Rural Summer Jobs Program
The 2013 Ontario Rural Summer Jobs Service designed to support employers in creating summer jobs for young people in rural Ontario. The program is accepting applications until April 30, 2013 from eligible rural employers who plan to create summer jobs for students. Eligible businesses and community organizations may receive a hiring incentive of $2 per hour. The maximum available is $1,120 per full-time position for businesses or organization is located in a town, small city or rural township with a population of 100,000.

For further information on the Rural Summer Jobs Service program, including the application, visit the ministry’s website, call 1-888-588-4111 or email: rsjs.omafra@ontario.ca.

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With today’s weather you may need your generator for power. Is your generator ready to go? Checklist for PTO Driven Generator. More information on generator maintenance and operation can be found on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food website.

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The March Swine Budgets is now available on the OMAF and MRA website – March 2013 Budget

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Examining shipping information is an essential part of assessing production and identifying opportunities for increasing revenue. If you missed picking up our brochure on the Grading Data Explorer at the London Swine Conference you can access the program on-line. instructions for operating data grading explorer tool

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