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Is There Gold in Your Dust?

by 5m Editor
19 July 2011, at 12:00am

A farm case study from BPEX exploring the benefits of a cyclone dust collector attached to the feeding system. The main advantages are improved biosecurity and a reduction in feed wastage.

Farm facts

Name: Robert Lasseter, Corton Farm
Location: Weymouth, Dorset
Farm size and enterprise: Three week batches, farrow to finish at 76kg, closed herd, 200 breeding animals, 24 farrowings per batch

Background



The cyclone attaches to the exhaust pipe on feed bins to collect dust

After BPEX and the NPA highlighted the risk of TB to pig herds, Mr Lasseter decided to make changes to improve biosecurity, with feed cost savings being a major additional benefit.

He bought the cyclone to reduce dust accumulation underneath bins and therefore reduce the number of badgers and vermin foraging in the yard. He also visited a liquid-fed finishing unit in Germany and was impressed with how clean it was under the bins where they were using cyclones.

One cyclone for each of his ten bins would have cost around £7,000 but Mr Lasseter decided to buy just one and to modify it by putting it in a supportive frame, enabling him to transport it between each of the bins.

The System

  • The cyclone attaches to the exhaust pipe on feed bins to collect dust
  • It is moved from one bin to another
  • The cyclone hopper is detached from the cyclone and emptied into a feeder after each bin blowing to ensure ensure the cyclone is empty before filling the next bin
  • The bin bases are washed off between every batch moving or being sold.

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"The cyclone has been a great investment! The savings we’re making are impressive and our biosecurity has definitely improved. I would certainly recommend others consider investing in one."
Robert Lasseter

Benefits

  • Improved biosecurity against TB and other diseases
    • Fewer birds about
    • Less evidence of badgers
  • Reduced feed wastage
    • Using the cyclone every time the bins are filled saves 200 to 400kg of feed, which equates to a saving of £50–100 every 10 days!
  • The cyclone only cost £700 so it does not take long to pay for itself
  • Cleaner, tidier working environment around the bins
  • Staff and feed delivery drivers do not get covered in dust!

Key to Success

  • The cyclone is best moved with a materials handler, or it can be carried by two people
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • No dust lying by the feed bins
  • Mr Lasseter uses badger fencing around the perimeter of the unit as an extra deterrent
  • The farm mills and mixes its own feed; if buying in is the only option, try to ensure the lorry comes straight from the mill and not via other farms.
July 2011