1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6, Page #39[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Putting Ozonation To The Smell Test
The ink on that magazine was barely dry when I ran across a company with a new farm-size ozone air purifier for hog operations at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa.
I decided to visit a nearby farmer, Mike Kats, who has been successfully using the company's system to control odor at his 400-sow farrow-to-finish operation near Doon, Iowa.
Kats has spent six or seven years working on "ozone-ating" the water and air on his farm.
"I began using a commercial ozonation system to reduce odor and rust levels in the hogs' drinking water," Kats told me. "Ozone mixes with water to oxidize foreign materials. I started using excess ozone bled off that system as an air freshener in one of my farrowing houses. In a few days, my hogs were more energetic, looked healthier and ate more. Air quality was also greatly improved and hogs had fewer respiratory problems."
So Kats began extensive testing of various ozone air purifiers. He now has ozone generating equipment in all his hog buildings.
Kats mounts the ozone purifiers outside his buildings and pumps the ozone into the building through PVC pipe.
After years of testing, he says he has determined what levels of ozone work best. Results have been amazing, he says.
For example, in his farrowing houses, he's seen a 75 percent decrease in scours, a 50 percent decrease in number of pigs laid on, a 15 percent increase in pigs weaning weight, and up to a 20 percent increase in feed consumption per sow per day.
In his nursery and finishing barns he's seen comparable decreases in disease. Plus, he's seen an increase of 0.4 lb. or more average daily gain and a reduction in death loss from 2.6 percent to 0.6 percent in his nursery and a 50 percent reduction in death loss (from 3 percent to 1.5 percent or less) in finishers.
But does ozone really reduce odor? That's what I had come to Kats' farm to find out.
He and I strolled through a three-room farrowing house with a pit underneath. Odor in the first room seemed much better than normal. Odor in the middle room was notice-ably stronger but still not bad. But odor in the third room was what you'd normally expect.
When I asked Kats about the difference, he reviewed the home-built ozone distribution system in the building and determined that there was a problem and that more ozone was being pumped into the first room than the others. That would seem to indicate that the ozone system really works since the same manure pit ran under all three farrowing rooms.
Big Dutch Distributing has put the Ozone Solutions Inc. system on the market for approximately $5 to $10 per pig space in nursery and finishing buildings and up to $20 in farrowing houses.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Banstra, Big Dutch Distributing, 231 20th St. SW, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250 (ph 712 722-4357; fax 4359) or Mike Kats, Picket Fence Farms Inc., Rt. 1, Box 11, Doon, Iowa 51235 (ph 712 726-3121; fax 3161).
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