An Innovative Approach to Maintaining Optimal Barn Temperature
November 15, 2022
Senior Content Manager
Whether it's staving off heat stress or averting a chilling event, preventing barn temperatures from falling out of the ideal range is critical. For Mike Diggs, Senior Production Manager for Smithfield in Nevada, Missouri, the same goes for ensuring his boars are cared for in a properly-cooled environment.
“We rely on 10 banks of HVAC units to cool our Boar Stud,” he said. “If one of them isn’t running correctly we put ourselves in a position that we can’t maintain the correct temperature.”
Mike has placed a BarnTalk temperature sensor in the duct work for each air conditioning unit in the Boar Stud. If the temperature falls below their set threshold, it will notify him immediately. He says the ability to monitor AC temps at a granular level allows them to service the system if an issue arises.
Since setting up his temp sensors, Mike says they have been able to identify an issue with the air conditioning and fix the problem before it compromised their boars’ optimal growing environment. “We had a unit that was needing to be recharged with Freon. We saw that it was running warmer than it should be and was able to get our HVAC serviced.”
The Boar Stud was previously monitored with Agri-Alert, and Mike says the landline-based alarm often stopped working when it rained. With the performance of his animals at stake, the unreliability of the system was a cause for concern.
Now, Mike is able to receive alarms at the most critical times and view the conditions of his barns without wondering if the AC is functioning properly. He is also monitoring temperature in their heating and disinfection room where supplies are kept, along with water pressure and water usage. To keep watch of their generator, they’re using a Wireless Dry Contact sensor to know if the system is working during a power outage.
“BarnTalk has allowed our team to look at how we are managing our HVAC units and disinfection rooms, along with giving us the security that we need to ensure our boars’ environment is correct for them.”
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