Evaluating energy use and conservation on dairies in the Northern Great Plains-Outreach efforts and needs for periods of heat stress

Erin L Cortus, Kevin A Janni, J. Salter, H. Carroll, T. Erickson, James C Paulson, S. Pohl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In the Northern Great Plains, dairy production systems must accommodate periods of intense heat and humidity. During periods of heat stress, ventilation and cooling systems are running at full capacity. The risk of inefficient use and management of environmental control systems (lights, ventilation, cooling systems) on dairies is increased energy usage and electricity costs, but also decreased milk production. Energy conservation during periods of heat stress does not accommodate simply turning equipment off; rather, making the most of the environmental control system to provide cow comfort and see the return through improved milk production is preferred. A series of four workshops were held on dairies in South Dakota and Minnesota to illustrate the importance of and self-assessment techniques for monitoring animal comfort and environmental control system performance. Equipment and assistance were also provided to producers interested in detailed assessments of temperature distribution in their barns. Change in knowledge as a result of the workshop was assessed through a post-workshop survey that 46% of the 101 workshop contacts (including producers, equipment suppliers and industry consultants) completed. On a scale of 1 (poor), 2 (fair), 3 (good), and 4 (excellent), the average level of understanding for the topics of temperature-humidity index, behavioral signs of heat stress, production impacts of heat stress, principles of air distribution, fan performance and evaporative cooling methods increased from approximately 2.4 to 3.4. Surveys indicated participants intended to adopt heat stress monitoring, airflow pattern detection ad fan maintenance procedures where there formally were none. Through open-ended survey questions and discussion with participants, knowledge gaps and outreach needs were identified in the areas of ventilation staging for mechanically-ventilated facilities, effectiveness of isolated cooling methods (i.e. in specific locations such as the holding barn), and the cost/benefit analysis for ventilation types and components. A dairy heat stress management and energy use planning guide was also developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Pages2227-2232
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510810501
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
EventAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jul 26 2015Jul 29 2015

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015
Volume3

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period7/26/157/29/15

Keywords

  • Cooling
  • Dairy farms
  • Energy
  • Extension
  • Ventilation

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  • Cite this

    Cortus, E. L., Janni, K. A., Salter, J., Carroll, H., Erickson, T., Paulson, J. C., & Pohl, S. (2015). Evaluating energy use and conservation on dairies in the Northern Great Plains-Outreach efforts and needs for periods of heat stress. In American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015 (pp. 2227-2232). (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2015; Vol. 3). American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.