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Susan Wood Gay

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Ammonia Emissions and Animal Agriculture

Agricultural producers are under constant pressure to minimize the impact their management practices have on the environment. Although most environmental concerns related to animal agriculture have focused on water quality during the past two decades, air quality issues have become an increasing concern. Odors have been the main air quality concern related to agricultural animal production. However, ammonia emissions from livestock and poultry operations have recently received significant attention. New air quality standards that cover ammonia emissions in the United States were adopted in 1997. These regulations will have a significant impact on the future of animal production operations. The purpose of this publication is to provide an overview of ammonia production associated with animal agriculture and to explain why it is receiving greater attention from those concerned with environmental quality.

May 1, 2009 442-110
Bedded-pack Dairy Barns

Bedded-pack barns are an alternative type of dairy housing for producers wanting to upgrade or modernize their milking herd facilities while minimizing capital costs. These barns provide cows with a large bedded pen for resting rather than individual stalls (Figure 1). Bedded pack refers to the mixture of bedding, usually wood shavings or kiln-dried sawdust, and manure on the pen floor. A properly managed bedded pack provides a healthy, comfortable surface on which cows may lie.

May 1, 2009 442-124
Constructing High-tensile Wire Fences

High-tensile wire fence is an effective barrier for controlling and protecting livestock. Some advantages of this type of fence include ease of handling, minimal maintenance, and high strength. High-tensile wire fence can be easily electrified and will outlast most other fences. Building a high-tensile wire fence that will provide years of service requires proper construction techniques. Unfortunately, many farmers consider fence building a low priority. The result is a poorly built fence that is a waste of time and money. Every fencing job presents slightly different problems. However, the application of a few basic principles of fence construction can result in well-built fence. This publication discusses the basic components of high-tensile wire fence construction.

May 1, 2009 442-132
Determining Forage Moisture Concentration

Fires that damage or destroy hay and barns cost farmers thousands of dollars in building and feed replacement costs and in lost revenues. Many of these fires are caused by the spontaneous combustion of hay that usually occurs within six weeks after baling. This publication discusses the cause and prevention of hay fires and provides guidelines to follow when a hay fire is detected.

May 1, 2009 442-106
Farmer's Lung: Causes and Symptoms of Mold and Dust Induced Respiratory Illness

Farmers account for more than 30 percent of adults disabled by respiratory illness. Yet, a large percentage of farmers are nonsmokers. If smoking is not to blame for these ailments, then what is? The answer is farmer's lung.

May 1, 2009 442-602
Fencing Materials For Livestock Systems

Good fencing protects and confines valuable livestock by presenting barriers to restrict animal movement. Barriers may be physical, psychological, or a combination of both. Physical barriers consist of enough materials of sufficient strength to prevent or discourage animals from going over, under, or through the fence. Psychological barriers depend upon inflicting pain to discourage animals from challenging a physical barrier of inferior strength.

Traditional livestock fencing materials have included barbed, woven, mesh, and electrified wire, and combinations of these materials. Board fences have also been popular. These conventional materials are still widely used and make excellent fences if properly constructed. However, new materials such as high tensile wire should also be considered when selecting fencing types.

May 1, 2009 442-131
Hay Fire Prevention and Control

Fires that damage or destroy hay and barns cost farmers thousands of dollars in building and feed replacement costs and in lost revenues. Many of these fires are caused by the spontaneous combustion of hay that usually occurs within six weeks after baling. This publication discusses the cause and prevention of hay fires and provides guidelines to follow when a hay fire is detected.

May 1, 2009 442-105
Natural Ventilation For Freestall Dairy Barns

Ventilation systems in dairy barns help maintain a comfortable environment to keep cows healthy and productive. Cows continuously produce heat and moisture. Therefore, a ventilation system is necessary to constantly exchange warm, humid air inside the barn for cooler, drier air outside of the barn. This exchange must occur regardless of outside temperature or weather conditions. Fresh outside air is required even on a cold, windy night to reduce moisture accumulation inside the barn. Good air exchange also removes nuisance odors and manure gases that can have negative effects on animal health and performance.

May 1, 2009 442-763
Planning Fencing Systems For Controlled Grazing

Controlled grazing can be an economical way to provide forage to grazing animals. Utilizing pasture as a major portion of the forage plan can significantly reduce feed costs during the grazing season. Virginia's soils and climate are especially favorable for the growth of a wide range of productive, high-quality grasses and legumes suitable for grazing. However, optimizing a controlled grazing system requires careful planning and good management of a fencing system.

May 1, 2009 442-130
Planning for a Farm Storage Building

A farm storage building is a good investment for many agricultural operations. The building can be used to store hay, machinery, or both. As a result, the value of these commodities will be worth more than if left in the field. However, does the increased value of stored hay or machinery offset the cost of owning a building? The following discussion examines the costs and savings of owning a farm storage building.

May 1, 2009 442-760
Selecting A Post-Frame Building Contractor

Post-frame buildings have been popular in the agricultural community for over fifty years. However, many agricultural producers do not have the resources to design and construct post-frame buildings and should rely on a contractor to do this work for them. The challenge for the producer is to select a contractor who will incorporate adequate materials with well-engineered designs to construct a structurally sound and functional building. Lack of an sufficient building design may result in a post-frame structure that looks structurally sound, but has an unacceptable risk for failure or that may not be suitable for the intended purpose.

May 1, 2009 442-761
Signing A Post-Frame Building Contract

Post-frame buildings have been popular in the agricultural community for over fifty years. However, many agricultural producers do not have the resources to design and construct post-frame buildings and should rely on a contractor to do this work for them. The challenge for the producer is to select a contractor who will incorporate adequate materials with well-engineered designs to construct a structurally sound and functional building. Lack of an sufficient building design may result in a post-frame structure that looks structurally sound, but has an unacceptable risk for failure or that may not be suitable for the intended purpose.

May 1, 2009 442-762
Site Selection for Dairy Housing Systems

Good site selection is essential for a successful dairy operation. Site selection requires careful planning to ensure that your investments allow you to build towards the future rather than continuing the past. A few essential factors are important to ensure that you have a site suitable for the present and for 20 to 30 years in the future. This publication provides guidelines to make the site-selection process easier.

May 1, 2009 442-096
Standby Electric Generators for Emergency Farm Use

An emergency source of power is essential for any farm with mechanically ventilated production facilities, bulk milk-handling equipment, automated feeding systems, or facilities requiring constant and consistent heat or refrigeration. A standby power generator is an excellent investment to prevent costly losses during local power failures. This publication provides guidelines to make the selection, sizing, and operation of standby generators easier.

May 1, 2009 442-067