(DLG). Animal welfare in agriculture is becoming increasingly important. From the 15th to the 18th In November, EuroTier 2022 in Hanover will focus on the future of the livestock industry. The world’s leading trade fair for professional animal husbandry and livestock management offers a wide range of services that leaves nothing to be desired: stable equipment, air conditioning and feeding technology, lighting systems and much more. The range of solutions offered by the exhibiting companies ranges from the equipment of small businesses to large, fully integrated stables. The topic of energy supply is closely linked to this. Farmers will also find solutions for this in Hanover – at EnergyDecentral 2022, which will take place at the same time at the exhibition center.
In order for pigs, cattle and poultry to feel completely comfortable in the stable, a perfect climate is needed. Sufficient fresh air, a low concentration of harmful gases, the right temperature and optimal humidity are important. Every stable air conditioning requires individual planning and sophisticated technology. These include energy-saving ventilation, efficient feeding systems and – just in case – reliable alarm systems and emergency generator sets. At EuroTier, farmers will find a large number of competent partners among the more than 1,500 exhibitors for optimal stable air conditioning – whether it is the new construction of outdoor air conditioning stables or the conversion of classic hot stables.
More animal welfare in the stables
Stable air conditioning is of central importance, not least for the more than 12,000 agricultural ITW farms in this country that participate in the Animal Welfare Initiative (ITW). At least once a year, the animal owners of the ITW have their stable climate and drinking water checked. An expert registered with the ITW carries out the tests, examines the ventilation systems and assesses air quality. These specially trained experts also include Kilian Knipping, who works as a feeding and management consultant at AGRAVIS Mischfutter West GmbH, a group company of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. In addition to solutions for feeding animals, AGRAVIS offers training seminars such as PigDays, recognized roughage pellets or stable climate and drinking water checks, which will be presented at EuroTier.
Advice on participation in the Animal Welfare Initiative is one of Knipping’s fields of work. The focus is on the sensory examination of all stable areas, which includes an assessment of the stable air and the observation of animal behavior. Subsequently, a functional test of the ventilation system with its actuators and temperature sensors is carried out randomly and risk-based, explains Knipping. In sow keeping, for example, at least one check per functional area, i.e. in the farrowing, deck and waiting area, must be carried out. Also important: “Proof that target and actual values match, that the technology is intact and that the farmer is able to operate them,” says Knipping. One of the most important points for him is also the control of the functionality of the emergency devices if the electrically operated ventilation system fails. Every alarm device present on the company is checked by Knipping. In order to ensure animal welfare in the event of a blackout, the total failure of the power supply, a quickly ready-to-use three-phase emergency power supply is necessary. It can bridge failures of up to 24 hours stress-free for the animals. Compact PTO generators are a mobile solution. They are coupled to the tractor and reliably provide electricity for basic supply for the company building and the stable.
Equipped with the latest measurement technology
What is best for the animals depends not least on age. A piglet needs higher ambient temperatures to feel good than an older pig. Therefore, the various air conditioning controllers, such as heat lamps or piglet nests, must be checked regularly by the livestock farmer. Where a lot of time was needed in the past, digitization helps today: Thanks to state-of-the-art measurement technology, all ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as feeding technology can be regulated via smartphone, tablet or computer. The smart controls allow full control over the conditions in the stable building. Farmers have access to the current data around the clock via app and PC and can view detailed evaluations as well as alarm messages about the various ventilation and feeding systems – so targeted measures can be taken or carried out automatically to increase the welfare of the animals. At EuroTier, a variety of sensors are presented that measure important values such as temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide content in real time and with high precision and send them to a SmartApp. If one of the values is not within the standard range, a climate controller automatically regulates the systems in the stable in order to achieve the perfect balance of ventilation and cooling for the animals again.
Modern enthalpy-controlled ventilation systems automatically compensate for the current air speeds in the stable and ensure a balanced climate. They work via setpoint input of ideal temperature and humidity. If the humidity rises in the stable, the system lowers the temperature at the same time. If, on the other hand, the humidity drops, the temperature can be adjusted up. In addition, modern systems such as Huesker’s Lubratec SmartBox calculate the temperature-humidity index based on current data for temperature and humidity – so farmers immediately know when heat stress threatens in the stables. Recent innovations include electrochemical sensors for the continuous measurement of ammonia levels in the stable air, such as the DOL 53 and the AmmoniaDetect respectively. They are offered by stable equipment manufacturers such as the Big Dutchman Group and Holm&Laue. They allow continuous monitoring of NH3 concentrations. The data provided by the sensor can be processed via computer and the climate in the chicken coop can be controlled accordingly in order to prevent the negative effects of high ammonia levels on animal health. Protected by a tube, the sensor can also be installed directly in the lying area of calves in order to optimize the ventilation of the calf stable and determine the optimal time to muck out.
Use the electricity from the roof
At the same time as EuroTier, from the 15th to the 18th In November, EnergyDecentral, which has established itself as the most important platform for decentralized energy supply, will take place at the exhibition center in Hanover. It is the first point of contact for operators of photovoltaic, biogas or wind turbines who ask themselves the question: How can the electricity generated from the roof or from the combined heat and power plant be intelligently and efficiently allocated to the individual electrical devices? Even for small and medium-sized farms, the use of solar power for lighting, the drive of motors in feeding systems or fans is already everyday life today. Especially where the energy effort for a healthy stable climate is highest due to the high solar radiation, such a concept pays for itself fastest. Intelligent load management ensures the perfect connection of the photovoltaic system with the technology in the stables.
Since the solar system on the roof does not always produce electricity when it is needed, the excess energy must be stored for an efficient supply in order to be able to retrieve it if necessary. Modern lithium-ion storage systems are characterized by a higher energy density and are particularly economical. They work off- and on-grid as well as in island operation and are also suitable as a charging infrastructure for electrically driven commercial vehicles, such as feed mixers and telehandlers. Such storage facilities are also an increasingly interesting option for operators of combined heat and power plants – especially if there is a photovoltaic system that is supported by cogeneration. Together with another heat generator, for example a pellet heating system with solar thermal energy, company buildings and stables can be supplied with electricity, heat and hot water almost losslessly. EnergyDecentral 2022 therefore focuses on hybrid concepts that cleverly combine electricity and heat and also offer farmers the opportunity to play a new, attractive role as renewable energy economists in the future.
Specialist partners of EuroTier and EnergyDecentral
Specialist partners of the two world’s leading trade fairs are: Bundesverband Praktizierender Tierärzte (bpt), Bundesverband Rind und Schwein e.V. (BRS), German Association of Pet Food (DVT), Association of Biogas, Innovation Space Blue Bioeconomy, ISN – Interest Group of Pig Farmers of Germany, European Pig Producers (EPP), European Poultry Club (EPC), European Dairy Farmers (EDF), VDMA Power Systems, the Association of Chambers of Agriculture (VLK) and
Current information on EuroTier 2022:
Current information on EnergyDecentral 2022: