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Increased standardisation will reign in swine barn construction costs

The President of DGH Engineering says increased standardisation has helped swine producers take greater control of swine barn construction costs.

15 June 2019, at 9:00am

A range of factors, including higher material costs and stricter building codes have increased the costs of swine barn construction. Speaking to Farmscape, Dennis Hodgkinson, the President of DGH Engineering, says building costs continue to ascend as time goes by but costs have been manageable and standardisation helps us know where to spend our money.

"Things have become even more standardised as time has progressed," explains Hodgkinson. "There's been leadership taken by some of the integration people, and some of the producers and buyers.

"They've developed more structured systems, they've defined exactly what they want in a lot of contract production and certainly this has steered the industry into a direction.

"I believe it's all productive and useful. It helps us get better control of costs and put some predictability into the outcome.

"I wouldn't say we're in a boom but there's certainly strong activity. I think people are looking to fill out slaughter space and slaughter capacity so there's a steady forward movement to do that.

"We're seeing some replacement of some dated facilities. As you well know, 30 to 40 years ago we were on a very strong expansion phase but lots of those facilities are coming to the end of their life. We're seeing lots of upgrades that are being driven by new technology, lots of retrofits of environmental control systems, feeding systems, things of that nature as well."

Hodgkinson says there's room for growth rounding out the match between supply and slaughter capacity and there's ongoing interest in expanding organic food production. He notes, in organic farming we'd be looking for organic fertiliser and livestock production is a good way to create that.