What do pigs and a guitar have in common?
Luke Bryan loves them both!
The National Pork Board has partnered with Luke Bryan, to help dispel some of the negativity surrounding swine production. It is always nice to see celebrities giving back. Luke Bryan just finished up his annual farm tour in September. And continues as a new celebrity face in the swine industry.
On to less fun topics..... it's that smelly time of year, to empty the hog pits. For the non-pig producers.... the pig manure is a great source of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. The liquid manure is pumped out of the pits, hauled to fields and knifed into the ground. Soybeans and corn are usually rotationally planted. Corn needs lots of nitrogen to grow.... so the manure is applied into bean stubble, for next seasons corn crop.
Everyone is tired from harvest and anxious to finish fall work, before the weather decides to turn.... Here are some tips I borrowed from UMN Extension and MN Pork/Pork Check-Off to briefly touch and manure pumping safety.
All members of the farm family/farm operation need to be aware of the dangers when pumping... Sinage should be placed for non-farm guests to be aware of the gas dangers. No one should enter barns being pumped. An emergency plan should also be in place.
Hydrogen sulfide is the biggest concern when working with pig manure.... it can kill a barn full of pigs as well as any humans that enter the environment, it is also highly flammable. The levels can change quickly, and can form pockets. Hand held hydrogen sulfide meters only cost $150 and up... cheap re-assurance for entering a barn.
Consider minimal or no agitation until manure level is 1.5-2 foot below pump-out port. Avoid aggressive agitation when animals are in building. Stop agitating when bottom nozzle is less than 6 inches below manure surface.
Warm Days: If winds excede 5mph, open curtains and run all exhaust fans. If calm, leave sidewall curtains closed and run all exhaust fans. If 50% or > pit fans must be left idle, curtains should be open regardless of wind speed.
Cold Days: Large pigs, leave curtains closed and run all exhaust fans. For smaller pigs, generally all pit fans and 1-2 wall fans.
Continue to ventilate for 1-2 hours after pumping.
Secure all pit covers and pump-outs!!!!
Happy and Safe pumping to all..... the end is near.... sending thoughts of ocean breezes and warm beaches...