By: Scott Campbell, Global Product Manager, Hydro Systems
In 2020, a year riddled with challenges brought on by a global pandemic, the farming industry in the United States fared quite well. In fact, the industry recorded its best profits in seven years. Despite this good news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected that farmers won’t see a year as profitable for another decade or more. Though sales are estimated to rise, profits are on trend to drop from 2020’s $121.1 billion to $100.1 billion in 2021. With this in mind, it’s important for farms to consider opportunities for reducing their costs and protecting the health of their animals. A commitment to cleanliness supports both of these goals.
The Impact of Cleanliness Lapses
Involuntary culling, also known as biological culling, is the process of removing animals from the farm due to poor animal health or management. High rates of involuntary culling can greatly impact the profitability of a farm. According to the 2018 USDA/National Animal Health Monitoring Service (NAHMS) Health and Management Practices on U.S. Dairy Operations, the average involuntary cull rate for the Northeastern U.S. was 37.6%. The report found that “diseases, such as mastitis, lameness, metritis, displaced abomasum, respiratory diseases and injuries represented almost 40% of the biological culls.”
Thus, these figures demonstrate that curbing illness in cows can change the course of biological culling rates and the farming industry’s success. Reducing the risk of disease in other farm animals like chickens and pigs is also key. One way to do so is by enhancing the cleanliness of animals’ drinking water. If animals don’t have access to clean water, they are much more likely to become sick and this can impact not only their health but also their production levels.
Farms deliver everything from medication and vitamins to vaccines and organic acids to animals through their water lines. Equipment even delivers line cleaning chemicals to treat water and prevent the buildup of harmful soils and pathogens. Thus, having the right equipment in place is essential for maintaining animal health.
Necessary Equipment that Meets your Needs
When considering which pump to install on your farm, there are several things to consider:
- Accuracy – Pumps must not under or overtreat water. Thus, precision is key. Consider pumps that don’t use squeeze tubes, which can wear out over time and impact the accuracy of dilutions.
- Safety – Check whether the pump can withstand high water pressure situations, as water pressure can greatly fluctuate.
- Durability – Equipment that is built with quality in mind will help reduce long-term costs associated with maintenance and replacement. Look for dust-proof pumps that do not require a separate controller to operate.
- Chemical compatibility – The pump must be able to work alongside a wide range of chemicals, like sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide. Pump failures due to chemical incompatibility can lead to livestock illness or death that can cost farmers up to $184,000 in losses.
Helping Animals and your Profits Grow
When farms prioritize cleanliness, they set themselves up for success. Foaming and spraying solutions keep barn interiors and loading bays clean, remove contaminants from vehicles as they enter the farm and maintain the cleanliness of essential equipment. Meanwhile, electronic pumps help keep water lines free of potentially harmful bacteria that can inhibit animal growth and wellbeing. Healthier animals provide better byproducts like milk and eggs, and keep farms profitable. When selecting cleaning equipment for the farm, be sure that it is durable, reliable and accurate to offer greater peace of mind and cost savings.
For more information about cleanliness on the farm, review our white paper, “Water Line Cleaning and Disinfection on the Farm”, our case study featuring Proxy Clean® Products, and the latest addition to our product line, HydroMaster LCU.