Bringing a Breath of Fresh Air to Dairy Ventilation

Heat stress and its effects on a dairy herd are at the forefront of many producers' minds following a hot summer and reduced milk production. It turns out that the losses may be more than you think. At the end of August, Dairy Alert email newsletter noted research being done at the Ohio State University.

The top 5 dairy states: California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota annually lose $447 million in milk production due to heat stress. How does a manager cope with this? We ask you to consider a non-traditional approach.

Why Power Ventilation

Dairy producers know that heat stress leads to a loss of feed intake and inefficient water use. This can easily lead to a drop in production of 8 to 10 pounds of milk per day. Heat stress can also reveal itself more subtly in loss of barn staff productivity. In an attempt to battle the heat, maintain milk production, and create a safe and comfortable working environment, many dairy producers have built confined free stall barns.


Such facilities make use of sidewall curtains and stir fans to manage temperature and air quality. This is effective during moderate temperatures in spring and fall, so long as Mother Nature moves a breeze through the barn. But, what happens in these facilities when temperatures hit summertime peaks and winter lows? Del-Air has answered the call with a power ventilation package that controls temperature and air quality all year long.
Air Quality in July

Studies have shown that dairy cows begin to exhibit signs of heat stress when the mercury climbs above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The Del-Air power ventilation system consists of sidewall inlets, chimney fans, stir fans, evaporative cooling or high-pressure foggers, and reliable electronic controls. It keeps air quality and temperature in the barn comfortable in the heat of summer. As temperatures rise, chimney fans incrementally draw more air through sidewall inlets.


Stir fans circulate the air in the barn, and chimney fans exhaust heat through the ridge. Evaporative cooling pads or foggers cool the air that enters the barn through the inlets. Air temperatures can be maintained to be consistently lower than external highs. This system creates a comfortable temperature for the animals and an improved working environment for barn staff.
Air Quality in October

October may be the best time of year to utilize cooler outside temperatures for natural ventilation. However, many herds' production is in a "catch-up" period to regain pounds of milk per cow that were lost in summer heat stress periods.


Power ventilation can prevent the severity of the summer losses and allow you to take advantage of moderate October conditions. If there is a fall temperature swing, the system will keep the level temperature that you program.
Air Quality in January

As we move into cooler temperatures, we begin to see gases, feed-dust, and odors create ventilation challenges in a traditional curtain sided facility. Operating stir fans with curtains locked tight to conserve heat in winter does not create the air exchange required for crucial fresh air in the barn. Cracking curtains and ridge vents open can improve the air quality somewhat but also creates a tremendous loss of heat. Again, Del-Air answers the call.


The same system used to ventilate in summer is capable of exhausting substantially lower air volumes to control gases, dust, and odors in winter while conserving heat. Inlets direct fresh air upward in cooler temperatures to prevent chilling of cows. A continuous air exchange creates a healthy and controlled environment for the herd and just as importantly, a healthy and controlled environment for people working in the barn.

Contact us today to learn how you can harness the Del-Air power ventilation package. Allow Del-Air to control your environment so that you can focus on production. The results will be seen in healthy and consistently productive cows. Ultimately, consistent herd environment relieves stress from production and improves your bottom line.

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