In 1990 Per Bach Laursen began assuming the responsibilities of Lundgaard, the family farm, from his father. By 1999 he initiated the first serious expansion. A new sow unit for 550 sows expanded the herd by 200 sows. And at the same time he planned the next step in the expansion process.
“I prefer activity every third year here on the farm,” he says.
In November 2003 Laursen was named chairman of the Association of Danish Pig Producers. Immediately after taking lead of the organization, he contacted Egebjerg International’s dealer Winther Staldindretning, who managed the 1999 expansion to say he was ready for more growth on his farm.
By spring 2004, Laursen applied for environmental approval for building additional stalls. Approval, which can take a long time in Denmark, was granted in October 2007.
Good logistics – a demand
Laursen insists on good logistics when expanding the production capability. “It is important with a good and natural flow in the design” he says. He discussed the layout of the new unit with his employees and then turned to Egebjerg’s dealer who suggested the final design and equipment and was responsible for construction.
Together, Laursen and his dealer identified all cooperation partners and coordinated the progress.
“Every two weeks we have invited all suppliers to a building meeting. At these meetings I expressed how I would like things to be run the next two weeks.” Laursen says.
The project was nearly finished by the summer of 2008, including a new feed barn, a large service/gestation stall, weaner unit and farrowing unit. The farrowing unit was put to use as soon as it was completed.
Function and efficiency
Laursen’s units are built with 100 mm concrete elements as rear wall and partitions. The fronts are in 110 mm red facing-bricks. The stalls are made with prefabricated grated rafters with roofing panels from Eternit.
The service and gestation stall has concrete slats with a heated concrete floor. Even though it has not been a demand from the authorities, Laursen has incorporated slurry cooling which reduces the ammonia evaporation.
The weaner unit is comprised of plastic slats and a heated concrete floor. The bottom of the unit is constructed from concrete and plastic slats.
Feed barn capabilities
The feed barn includes buffer silos for 20 tons of grain and 35 tons of soy with mixing machinery conveniently located next to the silos.
The mill is a 22 kW disc grinder, which has an automatic adjustment for changing from fine grinding for the finishers to coarse grinding for the sows. The mill grinds directly into the wet feed tanks but can also send the ground feed to the diagonal mixer so supplement dry minerals can be produced for the weaners. There are three add-on containers for dry minerals.
Loose gestation sows
The mating section includes four boar pens on each side followed by rows of crates. There is a passage in front of the sows, where the boar can walk in connection with the insemination process. Hanging stainless steel troughs create a good contact between the sows and the boar.
The gestation stall is equipped with Egebjerg’s free access stalls in T-pens. The sows can choose whether they want to remain in the stall or be together with the other animals in the group.
In the farrowing unit there are traditional farrowing pens with large climate boxes and controls for the heating lamps. This lowers energy consumption and provides an optimal start for the new born piglets.
The weaner unit consists of two-climate pens made of plastic panels and stainless steel profiles. The floor is heated. Hanging stainless steel troughs result in a quick and even distribution of the wet feed.
Low pressure ventilation was built into the service and gestation unit. The intake goes through ceiling valves placed in four rows along the unit. This was chosen to secure optimal air distribution in the sow area.
The multi-step exhaust principles contribute to energy savings and make a higher speed on the return. The exhaust air is released higher up and thereby distributed over a larger area with less inconvenience for the neighbours, the producer says. Heat is added automatically to obtain optimal climate conditions year-round.
In the farrowing unit there is a diffuse negative pressure ventilation and high pressure cooling system. This ensures a draught-free environment in the sow area. The high-pressure cooling system keeps the sows comfortable to ensure high milk production during warm periods. The same system is for soaking before cleaning.
A diffuse negative pressure ventilation is in place in the weaner unit. Here the incoming air is distributed slower in the pigs’ area and during the summer it provides radiant ventilation which cools the pigs.
In the delivery zone a DOL 39 ventilator reverser, an accessory to the climate computer, allows the airflow to be turned towards the exit. The pigs typically follow the airflow out of the stall.
Laursen stresses that additional building is in the future. “We have been several years on the way and now we are only missing the last part before it is optimal solution,” he says as he points to drawings of the future Lundgaard which hang on the wall.
He expects that the next, and for the time being last, phase will be finished before the end of 2012. Building of an additional farrowing unit, weaner unit and mating/gestation unit means a further doubling of the production. At that point, the last of the old buildings will be torn down.
“It will also be done by total contractors in order to let others manage the project. If I can get as good and skilled craftsmen again then nothing has to be changed for the next project,” Laursen says.