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State-of-the-art sow management in Nonsan-si, South Korea.

Sow management: Bongdong trumpets stellar production

The past decade has seen changes in the South Korean pig industry landscape. From more than 12,000 pig farms in 2005, the number declined to 6,000 in 2012. Despite this, total pig inventory in the country has gone... [more]

State-of-the-art sow management in Nonsan-si, South Korea.

Sow management: Bongdong trumpets stellar production

The past decade has seen changes in the South Korean pig industry landscape. From more than 12,000 pig farms in 2005, the number declined to 6,000 in 2012. Despite this, total pig inventory in the country has gone up to almost 10 million heads from roughly nine million heads during the same period, evidence of the growing efficiency and productivity of the country’s pig producers. 

These days, achieving 22 pigs per sow per year (PSY) is a cinch for many of the country’s pig farmers, but for Bongdong Agri Co Ltd, which belongs to the Harim Group, 30 PSY is now a reality. 

“Our goal is to become one of the best farms in the world,” said Bongdong President Young-Il Cho.

Toward this end, the company inaugurated a brand new 3600-sow farm in Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do Province in May 2012. Present were Mr. Seo Gyuong, Minister of Agriculture for South Korea as well as Mr Hong Kuk Kim, chairman of the Harim Group and Mr. Hak-Sang Chung, president of Harim Group subsidiary Farmsco. 


Achieving target 

While the farm was in the planning phase, Mr Cho left nothing to chance. A practical and thorough man, he visited farms and equipment suppliers all over the world. His favoured destinations, however, were Denmark, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

This is hardly surprising, as some of the best-performing sows in the world can be found in Europe, and they have the standard he sought. “We do not want to be the largest, but the best,” said Mr Cho. His ambitious goal: A productivity of 30 PSY.

“We carried out thorough market inspections of the European hog industry. At the end of the trip, we decided to get all our genetics and equipment from European companies,” he pointed out.

From all indications, he made the right choice. After only a year, his goal became reality: In Nonsan-si 12.4 piglets weaned per litter and 2.42 litters per sow per year result in 30 PSY. Only the best pig breeders in the world achieve such outstanding results.

Even with this major accomplishment under his belt, Mr Cho not willing to rest. “I
n the future we will strive to increase our pigs PSY,” he declared. 

Strong genetics 

Mr Cho attributes his success to strict compliance with his management motto ‘Keep to the basics!’ His motto stands for a consistent and daily application of the best practices for sow management by his excellently trained farm team.

In this he was supported by GENE+, a French pig breeding company which provided the genetics (GGP, GP & F1) and technical-genetic assistance to the Nonsan-si farm. Its experts undertook a comprehensive and thorough training of all Bongdong team members involved in the management of the sows, which were shipped to the country aboard four chartered jumbo jets. 

The results achieved by Mr Cho made the South Korean experts sit up and take notice. According to him, other pig producers with similarly sized farms are interested in the genetics and farming equipment he uses. 


Optimal environment 

In addition to excellent genetics, however, farm management also plays a key role in Bongdong’s success. 

The climate in South Korea is always a major obstacle to achieving good pig production results, with hot and humid summers and humidity of up to 96% as well as cold winters during which temperatures may drop to -15°C.

To address this problem, Mr Cho turned to German pig equipment supplier Big Dutchman and tapped the company’s expertise for his project. Big Dutchman has been furnishing houses worldwide for decades and can thus provide solutions for various climatic conditions.

After studying all possibilities, Mr Cho decided in favour of cross ventilation. Under the system, fans draw fresh air through the whole house and create a pleasant windchill effect. Cool pads installed in front of the inlets further support the cooling.

To ensure that temperatures and air quality are ideal for the sows, the climate in the house is controlled by the BigFarmNet technology. This control allows for permanent data acquisition and monitoring of each house in real time.

In addition to the climate control system, all the equipment installed in Bongdong’s Nonsan-si operation is from Big Dutchman. These include all housing and feeding systems as well as computer installations, from the exhaust air cleaners to the BD Space or BD Swing crate stands, from the DryRapid dry feeding system to the silos. 


A holistic approach 

Good genetics and equipment alone however, are still not enough to ensure success, and no one knows this more than Mr Cho. To fully achieve his goals for the farm, he has implemented a holistic production strategy that encompasses genetics, nutrition and feeding strategy, environment control and efficient farm management, manpower management and training. 

Mr Cho cites as another reason for the outstanding productivity of his sows, the numerous hygienic measures applied on the farm. Strict and comprehensive biosecurity measures are in place both for farm staff and farm visitors. 

Meanwhile, with South Korea being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, it is important to Mr Cho that he is on good terms with the neighbours of his farm, so from the beginning, he was always considerate of them and remains so. 

Remarkably, the premises in Nonsan-si, only 30km southwest of the city of Daejeon with its 1.5 million inhabitants, are nearly completely clear of odours, thanks to 17 MagixX exhaust air cleaners scattered around the farm that remove ammonia, dust and odours from the exhaust air.

Mr Cho's happy reaction to the high separation rates: “I am perfectly satisfied with the results.”


Looking forward 

As the South Korean pig industry continues to develop, the government has put in more regulations to ensure not only food safety but animal welfare and environment conservation as well.

This, said Mr Cho, will affect the industry and will likely bring down further the number of pig producers. That said, Bongdong now serves as a role model for the country’s pig industry as to what can be achieved with modernisation and efficient production. 

And while Bongdong is not yet a player in the world market, it is not inconceivable that it may be in a few years.

“I haven’t had time to consider it yet, but it is something that we will consider in the future,” Mr Cho remarked.

Source: Asian Pork, March 2014


World class piglet production at Bongdong sow farm
Results from 1 June to 30 June 2013 of Bongdong sow farm 1
Sow management: View of an extremely successful farm project. The third filter bank of the exhaust air cleaner, made of burl wood, can be seen on the right and the left at the front end of each house.
At the inauguration Mr Kim (on the very right), chairman of Harim Group, shows the guests around the service centre.
Young-Il Cho (3rd from left) is explaining how the exhaust air washer MagixX is works.
Cool pads (see left) installed in front of the house inlets efficiently support the cooling.

Russia: Major pig farm opened in Kursk

Latest pig equipment installed at breeding enterprise

Modern pig equipment for healthy animals

In the Bolshesoldatsky district, Kursk Oblast, Russia, a modern pig breeding farm has recently been launched, according to the renowned Pig Progress magazine. The modern operation has a production capacity of 60,000... [more]

Modern pig equipment for healthy animals

In the Bolshesoldatsky district, Kursk Oblast, Russia, a modern pig breeding farm has recently been launched, according to the renowned Pig Progress magazine. The modern operation has a production capacity of 60,000 fattening pigs per year and is run by the local pig producer Nadezda. The new complex has been provided with the latest pig equipment from German company Big Dutchman.

Please click here to read the full article at Pig Progress’ website. The Magazine covers a variety of topics on global pig production.

Modern pig equipment for healthy piglets

AirProTec filtration system with integrated cooling

Brand new: Efficiently filtering PRRS viruses – already out of the incoming air

Efficient AirProTec filtration system installed in a breeder farm

The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) confronts pig producers throughout the world with big problems: The pandemic disease severely affects the health of their animals. To avoid economic losses... [more]

Efficient AirProTec filtration system installed in a breeder farm

The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) confronts pig producers throughout the world with big problems: The pandemic disease severely affects the health of their animals. To avoid economic losses that inevitably occur once the disease has hit a stock, Big Dutchman offers a new modular PRRS capturing filtration system with integrated cooling for pig buildings.

Its unique feature is that, unlike conventional filtration procedures, the new AirProTec operates under positive pressure ventilation. Fresh air will not be allowed into the houses without being filtered, thus significantly reducing the number of viruses entering the house. Combined with the day-to-day hygiene measures, pig producers can ensure a high state of health of their stock.

Each filter module basically consists of three air purifying phases: The first phase is accomplished by a wind breaking net or mesh to block coarse dirt particles from entering the unit. In the second phase, the air must pass through the actual antimicrobial filter medium that is able to filter out smallest particles such as the PRRS virus. The clean air finally passes through the evaporative cool pad system, which will cool down the air if needed.

AirProTec filtration units are generally
2.40 m (7.9 feet) in width and height, and the total length including the connecting duct is 3.22 m (10.6 feet). However, alterations are possible.

A small service door on the side of the unit provides easy access to the unit for effortless maintenance. The filter units are simply placed on the outside of the building and connected by an air duct with fan and shutter, blowing filtered air into the attic of the house. The airflow is then directed into the house or individual rooms through respective ceiling inlets, while an integrated control unit monitors the system and regulates proper ventilation pressure. 

AirProTec can be used during all stages of pig production. The filtration system is suited for the management of sows and boars as well as piglet rearing and can be used in all climate zones of the world. 

AirProTec filtration units installed in a breeder farm in Spain
The filter module consists of three air-purifying phases
Working principle of AirProTec

Big Dutchman on record course with modern pig feeders

Feeding places for 1.5 million pigs

Much sought-after pig feeders:  Flowers and congratulations on the 1.5 millionth feeding place

Clean and robust, practical and precise: These are convincing characteristics of modern pig feeders for finishing houses. More and more pig producers therefore decide on Big Dutchman (BD) automatic dry feeders. In... [more]

Much sought-after pig feeders:  Flowers and congratulations on the 1.5 millionth feeding place

Clean and robust, practical and precise: These are convincing characteristics of modern pig feeders for finishing houses. More and more pig producers therefore decide on Big Dutchman (BD) automatic dry feeders. In this business year alone, 1.5 million pigs worldwide were served their spotless feeding places by the experts from Vechta-Calveslage. 

A figure which is reward and at the same time motivation for Magnus Westerkamp, Managing Director of Big Dutchman Pig Equipment. “We are of course very proud that we were able to gain the trust of so many pig producers,” explains Mr Westerkamp. “Now we want to prove that this trust in the quality of our products is justified.” For BD, this means most importantly: 
Be present, be available. Mr Westerkamp and his colleagues saw this incredible figure as an opportunity to pay a personal visit to the farm on which the 1.5 millionth eating place was installed: They conveyed their thank-you to the Nagelmann family, which owns the family-run farm in Mettingen (Steinfurt district, Germany). 

Pig feeders as part of a complete project 

Mr Westerkamp and the responsible sales representative Ernst Klune visited the farm, which has been family-owned since 1730, situated in the idyllic foothills of the Teutoburg Forest. They presented Christa and Johannes Nagelmann with a gift and used the opportunity to check that everyhing is in order. They were, of course, especially interested because Big Dutchman was recently commissioned with the complete installation of a new finishing house for nearly 2,000 pigs on this farm – from the structural shell to the ventilation system and the pig feeders. 

Johannes Nagelmann gave the experts from Calveslage important feedback from practical life on the farm and named some “teething troubles” of the supply technology, which were, however, eliminated quickly and easily, according to the farmer. “Big Dutchman knows what they are doing and really listen to us farmers,” Nagelmann stated and expressed his enthusiasm for the simple handling of the entire “Made by Big Dutchman” system.

For more information on pig feeders please click here!

Many smiling faces and a very popular pig feeder: Sales representative Ernst Klune, Christa and Johannes Nagelmann as well as Big Dutchman Managing Director Magnus Westerkamp (from left to right) are extremely pleased with the 1.5 millionth eating space.

Big Dutchman now distributing "foraging tower" exclusively

Pig production: Foraging and feeling happy as a pig in muck

Pig production: foraging tower for increased animal welfare

Pigs that can root lively generally feel happy as pigs in muck. The Düsse foraging tower allows the pigs a form of occupation appropriate to their species. It ensures increased satisfaction and less stress in the... [more]

Pig production: foraging tower for increased animal welfare

Pigs that can root lively generally feel happy as pigs in muck. The Düsse foraging tower allows the pigs a form of occupation appropriate to their species. It ensures increased satisfaction and less stress in the house. This new development for pig production has already been awarded a DLG silver medal for innovation on an international level on the occasion of EuroTier 2012. Big Dutchman is especially glad to be able to offer this innovative exclusively as a sales partner with immediate effect.

"This innovative concept of an enrichment toy exactly matches our focus on integrated pig production for the future", says Magnus Westerkamp, the managing director of Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH. The world-wide acting company from Calveslage near Vechta in Germany proactively promotes legislators' efforts of improving animal well-being in livestock houses. According to several initiatives for animal welfare, pigs should have access any time to organic enrichment toys already today. "The foraging tower can be filled with straw and hay but also other suitable materials which means that it ideally matches our concept", says Magnus Westerkamp.  

The foraging tower designed in the Haus Düsse testing and educational centre for agriculture is protected as sample and allows the pigs' access to small bundles of spears at any time. Usually, the pigs are standing on slatted floor without litter to minimise the distribution of germs and diseases. The foraging tower therefore neither serves as litter nor as feeding system but solely as a means of occupation respecting animal welfare: The pigs can nudge the material out of the tower through the adjustable opening onto a hygienic rooting plate on the floor, occupy themselves with it or slowly eat it. This kind of foraging remains interesting for the pigs throughout their lifetime. 

"This cooperation between the economy and Haus Düsse is a very special type of cooperation," emphasizes Dr. Gerhard Haumann, the head of the testing and educational centre. "We are especially interested in spreading our idea as widely as possible as it is an important element for increasing animal welfare and comfort", continues Dr. Haumann. Although the foraging tower was designed for pig finishing in the first place, it can also be installed without problems independently in houses or pens in pig rearing or for groups of sows.

Great toys applied in pig production: The foraging tower offers pigs many possibilities for animal-friendly occupation. The exclusive world-wide sales rights for Big Dutchman are a reason for contentment for (from left to right): Dr. Anne Elkmann, product manager at Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH, Dr. Gerhard Haumann, head of Haus Düsse testing and education centre for agriculture, Magnus Westerkamp, managing director Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH, Tobias Scholz, Haus Düsse, main developer of the rooting tower.

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