Interest and concern is growing regarding sustainability of agricultural production systems including pork production. Information on the electrical and thermal energy consumption of pork production systems in the Midwestern United States is scarce. Understanding how swine production systems utilize electrical and thermal energy will help determine how this consumption can be reduced. This study evaluated the electrical and thermal energy (heating fuel) use of six commercial swine barns located in west central Minnesota. All barns were representative of typical Midwestern pork production systems. Energy monitoring was done on two barns from each stage of production: Two breed-To-wean barns, two nursery barns, and two finishing barns. Breed-To-Wean Barn A used an average of 11.36 kWh and 1.29 L of propane per weaned pig produced. Breed-To-Wean Barn B used an average of 11.9 kWh and 1.17 L of propane per weaned pig produced. Heat lamps used at least 58% of the total electrical energy in both barns. Nursery Barn A and B used an average of 2.4 and 2.1 kWh and 1.63 and 1.55 L of propane per feeder pig produced, respectively. Ventilation fans used at least 50% of the total electricity in both barns. The tunnel-ventilated finishing barn used an average of 14.4 kWh and 1.29 L of propane per finished pig produced, and the curtain-sided finishing barn used an average of 4.1 kWh and 1.85 L of propane per finished pig produced. Ventilation accounted for 72% and 81% of the total electrical energy in the tunnel-ventilated and curtainsided finishing barns, respectively. These data will be useful in targeting specific areas of pork production that have potential for improved energy efficiency.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Anderson Farms, Hillside Hogs, Moore Lean, Moser Farms, and participating producers for their gracious support and for allowing us to conduct this research in their facilities. Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).
© 2018 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
- Commercial pork production
- Heat lamps