1. Published

    Evaporative Cooling Pads – Maintenance for a Longer Life

    Hot weather cooling for livestock and poultry includes sprinkling or misting combined with high enough air velocity to promote evaporation, or direct cooling of the air via fogging or evaporative cooling pads as part of a mechanical ventilation package.

  2. Published

    Condensation Prevention in Metal –Walled Livestock Buildings

    Metal—walled (or metal sheathed walls) are commonly used for livestock construction. The metal sheathing is attached to the exterior of the building frame and it provides the first barrier between outside and inside conditions.


  3. Published
    Each spring semester, students in the Animal Science 403 pork production course get a brief introduction to ventilation fans, air inlets, environment control and manure management. Today, we share the information about the BESS lab in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at U of I. A unique laboratory, BESS conducts ventilation fan performance testing for companies, and posts results in an online database that anyone can access and use to select fans.

    BESS Lab website is here: bess.illinois.edu
  4. Published
    The TSM 371 Residential Housing class analyzed the simple life cycle cost of 5 different bulb selections for a utility room (12' x 15') requiring 9,000 lumens of lighting. The bulb choices were: 8 incandescent 75W bulbs vs 12 CFL vs 3 different LED bulbs. Local pricing was used for this homework. LED bulb life was 11,000 hours, CFL life 6,000 hours and incandescent life...a dismal 750 hours. All technical info straight from manufacturers' spec sheets.
  5. Published
    Nitrogen-limiting and phosphorus-limiting nutrient budget worksheets are now available online. Swine, beef, and turkey producers can utilize these online worksheets to easily calculate their manure application rates.
  6. Published

    Some of the rules and setbacks for manure spreaders in Illinois were changed by the 2014 EPA AFO/CAFO rules. Commercial manure haulers and farm operators can learn how these rules—which address ALL livestock facilities in our state—affect their operations, by attending one of the four regional meetings being held this spring. This is an important, unique opportunity to hear Illinois rules clarified by experts. Speakers include IEPA regional Environmental Protection Specialists, U of I Extension faculty and educators, and agricultural commodity group representatives.

  7. Published


    On January 19, 2018, Friday, EPA filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to further delay issuance of the mandate. Please check EPA's website to reach recent information on the court mandate.


  8. Published

    Mark your calendars:
    The 2018 Illinois Pork Expo is February 6-7, 2018 in Springfield, IL.


  9. Published

    UPDATE- According to the new Q&A posted on the EPA's website, those farmers who have already made their initial continuous release notification do NOT need to submit their written report to the EPA regional office within 30 days. They may wait to submit the written report until the court issues the mandate. No additional call or e-mail to the National Response Center is required.

  10. Published
    Update: As of Nov 15, 2017 3 pm, farms with continuous releases DO NOT HAVE to submit their initial continuous release notification until the court issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the April 11, 2017, decision.
  11. Published

    An updated calculator for estimating manure value is now available for download. Three examples, based on our Certified Livestock Manager training worksheets for swine, beef/dairy solid manure w/bedding, and turkey litter are available. Both PDF and Excel files can be downloaded. Check it out here: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lfmm/nmp/

    Users can enter their own values for manure application rate, manure application cost, crop type, history and nutrient needs, and the prices of commercial N, P, K equivalents.

  12. Published

    Owners of a brand new beef barn, utilizing a 10' deep pit under slats for manure collection, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10, 2016, at their ranch in Pike County. A large group was on hand, including representatives of the construction company, lumber and materials providers, the Illinois Livestock Developers Group, key commodity groups, financial institutions and engineering services.

  13. Published

    Date: October 26, 2016

    Authors: Richard Gates, 217-244-2791,rsgates@illinois.edu

    Jay Solomon, 815-235-4125, jssolomo@illinois.edu

    Sources: Extension Specialists in Region

  14. Published

    The 2017 annual Certified Livestock Manager Training Program schedule is set. Dates and locations are listed below, and published on the CLM Training page.


    January 31, 2017 - Springfield IL: Illinois Pork Expo, Prairie Capital Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, Springfield, IL

    February 7, 2017 - Bloomington, IL: McLean County Extension Office, 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington, IL

    February 8, 2017 - Effingham, IL: Effingham County Extension Office, 1209 North Wenthe Drive, Effingham, IL

  15. Published

    The 2017 annual Certified Livestock Manager Training Program is taking shape. Tentative dates have been selected and are published on the CLM Training page.

    A few important changes:

  16. Published

    Date: August 18, 2016

    Source: Richard Gates, 217-244-2791, rsgates@illinois.edu

    News Writer: Leanne Lucas, 217-244-2862, llucas@illinois.edu

    • Hydrogen sulfide and methane gasses from liquid/slurry stores can be lethal.
    • Remember key safety rules before agitating and emptying manure stores
    • Make sure new or inexperienced workers are trained in safety

    Make manure safety a priority after harvest

  17. Published

    During February 2016, Rich Gates and myself have had a few of opportunities to give some different presentations. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week we attended the IL Pork Expo in Springfield, IL. With the new location in Springfield IL, it was exciting to see the new layout for the floor and the legislative reception was a noteworthy new event this year. On the expo floor we hosted a display with information on our ongoing research. Dr. Gates brought information about a study that is looking at a novel method of piglet euthanasia.

  18. Published

    Recently, I have been thinking about purchasing a generator for my farm. The requirement for an emergency power supply is not always necessary, but should be considered, particularly if you have animals. Power requirements for livestock are critical as power is often used for ventilation, and for supplying feed and water. I am fortunate, as I have a small cattle operation where I can supply all of these without electricity. My barn and feeding area is open and the cattle have access to a small lot, so no fans are used.

  19. Published

    Backdraft is when air flows the wrong way through an opening. Typically barns are set up so outside air moves through an inlet, across the animals and the fans pull it back outside. When backdraft occurs, outside air moves into the barn through the fan. The main reason drafts come through the fans is the wind is blowing towards the fan. The winter is particularly susceptible to this phenomenon because most fans are not running to push back at the wind. Backdraft can occur when fans are operating, particularly if the fans are variable speed and are set low.

  20. Published

    When I am not working as an agricultural engineer, I spend my free time farming on a cattle and hay operation. Recently, we have been working to expand the hay sales, and last year we decided to put up 2 new hoop barns. Previously we had 1 hoop barn on the property that was put up by a company. We decided to expand the hay storage for a total of 3 hoop barns. In order to reduce costs we decided to provide the labor. I will give some reflections on the process of installing hoop barns. I have broken down the process into 4 steps: