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Software Helps Cut Energy Use & GHG Emissions

by 5m Editor
20 June 2011, at 9:58am

CANADA - New software helps pork producers to cut energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, writes Bruce Cochrane.

New software developed on behalf of the National Pork Board is helping pork producers determine where they can cut energy costs and reduce their farms' carbon footprint.

The Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator was developed by the University of Arkansas' Applied Sustainability Center on behalf of the Pork Checkoff to help pork producers identify hot spots where they could reduce energy use and cut costs and it was unveiled earlier this month at Work Pork Expo in Des Moines.

Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minnesota, US and a member of the Pork Checkoff's environmental committee, was among the first group of producers to test the software.

Randy Spronk – National Pork Board

I basically gathered all the information from one of my double wide wean-to-finish barns, got the fan data and entered in not only the number of fans, the CFM per fan and then the CFM per watt so you can know the efficiency of your fans.

I think there's 64 different feedstuffs that you can choose for your rations and then actually put in the percentage of those feedstuffs in your rations and your feeding programme and the weights of your pigs to the number and wattage of the light bulbs.

For the complexity of the data that you enter, it's a very simple input format.

One of the unique things, if you don't know the information you can put in a best guess and come back and correct it later and play 'what ifs', changing just one of the 17 items in saying what type of impact does it have.

I think it's very good educational tool for producers to be able to identify what if I made a change from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, what if I made a change in my ventilation strategies to a more efficient fan and what kind of impacts it would have.


Mr Spronk says the software makes it very easy for producers to understand the impact of different decisions not only on energy use but also on GHG emissions.

For more information on the Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator, click here.