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Survey on foaming deep-pit swine manure

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131619771,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Neslihan Akdeniz, Larry D Jacobson, Charles J Clanton, Brian P Hetchler
Keywords:   Foam manure deep-pit swine survey.

Abstract. Foaming on manure surfaces in deep-pit barns is not a completely new challenge, but starting in 2009 foaming incidents significantly increased. In the past five years, 30 to 40 flash fires and/or explosions, believed to be related to the presence of foaming in deep-pits, have been reported in the Midwest U.S. and Canada. In this study, a survey (electronic and hard copy) was developed and distributed to swine producers throughout the Midwest to document the prevalence of foaming on swine farms with deep-pits and determine if any correlations exist between foam formation and facilities and management practices. The survey results were collected from September 2012 to May 2013. Total of 225 producers (80.0% IA, 8.9% IL, 4.9% MO, 3.1% MN, 2.2% MI, 0.9% IN) responded to the survey. There were 1388 rooms (65.5% grow-finish and 34.5% wean-to-finish) and 1334 deep-pits. Foam was present in 322 pits out of 1,334 pits (24.1%). Out of 225 producers, 132 producers (58.7%) had at least one foaming pit. Total of 13 producers, 9.8% of the producers who had at least one foaming pit, had an explosion or a flash fire. Foam was a concern mainly in summer and fall. Only 37% of the producers checked their pits frequently (once a week). Solids content of the manure and unpleasant smell in drinking water were found to be significantly correlated with the presence of foam.

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