You can never plan too much into the design of a facility to house your livestock – and especially for fire prevention. Roughly two-thirds of fatal barn fires occur from October to March, according to an October 2018 report from the Animal Welfare Institute, with 36.8% occurring in January through March.
Sometimes, producers get so focused on caring for their animals, they neglect their health, safety, or well-being. Even with the best intentions and layers of coveralls, jackets, gloves, etc., working with livestock is often unpredictable.
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Cold stress can have dire consequences when calves three weeks old or younger experience temperatures below 59℉. Too much or too little ventilation and inadequate supply and temperature of nutrition provided are factors that exacerbate cold stress, especially in young calves.
A large amount of research has demonstrated quite convincingly that possessing high levels of self-efficacy acts to decrease people's potential for experiencing negative stress feelings by increasing their sense of being in control of the situations they encounter.
It really is better to ask permission now rather than ask forgiveness later - especially in Illinois and Indiana where you should not stake out a new livestock structure until you have the proper permits approved and in-hand.
In the Chinese culture, don’t expect to begin a business discussion until you have developed a relationship with the others in on the deal. In the United States, according to the Better Business Bureau, business owners were asked what the most critical assets to their businesses were. The answer may be surprising.
Timing is everything. That is what “they” say. We are not sure who “they” are, but time and time again it has proven to be true.
Resolutions...many people use the turn of the calendar and launch of the new year as a moment to pause and plan new goals for the year ahead. For protein producers, examples of goals may look like this:
Farmers want to take the best care of their animals that they can. That goes for pig producers as well. Jon Hoek, Director of Swine Precision Production Development at Summit Precision Production (SPP), notes that pigmanship is a philosophy, an approach to improved pork production.
It is estimated that 33-percent of all farmers are using drones now – either by themselves or third party operators. Drones are a natural in agriculture for crop scouting; but what about as a tool for livestock being raised in confinement?
Late season wet weather in some areas has caused less than ideal harvest conditions for soybeans. That has resulted in a deterioration in soybean seed quality and discolored beans. Soybeans that do not meet the elevator’s requirements are rejected or heavily discounted.
Turkey meat production in the United States during January-September 2018 was 4.36 billion pounds, down about 2 percent from a year earlier. The 2018 turkey production forecast is lowered by 24 million pounds to 5.875 billion pounds, 2 percent below 2017.
For many Summit Livestock producers, once the combines leave the corn fields, a second harvest occurs as corn stover is baled for various uses on the farm or for sale. The baled biomass is used for feed or for bedding. In some cases, it can be used in ethanol production facilities.
Late wet conditions, high winds and disease pressures are contributing factors to a prolonged harvest season for farmers from Missouri to Ohio. Downed corn resulted across hundreds of acres. With some areas reporting that corn is too difficult to combine, many growers are baling the crop.
USDA reports that of the 2.1 million farms in the United States, 97 percent are family owned operations. Small farms with income less than $350,000 in gross cash farm income accounted for eighty-eight percent of all farms.
Agriculture and the job of providing protein to the world gets more complicated each day. And just like the weather you don’t often have control of those factors that affect your bottom line – like trade agreements or passing the Farm Bill (which at the time of this writing has not yet been finalized or signed).
A recent television program on the Columbus Zoo’s Conservation Park focused on moving those species not accustomed to Ohio winters to their winter barns. Among the most challenging to move were the Ostriches who seemed to have a mind of their own.
The statistics are alarming. Farming continues to rank as one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. With only 2.1 million farmers tallied by USDA, the numbers of farm death and injury represent a significant percentage of the farm population.
The beef sales team at Summit Livestock Facilities are more than sales personnel. They each grew up with mud on their boots, chores in their souls and the work ethic required of those who produce a safe and plentiful food supply.
Company consolidation is everywhere – whether it is in the agricultural world (think Monsanto and Bayer or Pioneer and DuPont) – or in the fast food world (think Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) – it gives customers choices. But more importantly these companies have linked together to combine expertise, to share resources, and to maximize the services they can produce and provide.
EQIP stands for Environmental Quality Incentive Program and is a federal program that is administered at the state level.
Think of it as the blueprint for the laws, regulations and compliance issues necessary to establish your livestock facility. Before any construction begins, livestock producers need to have done their homework. Having all your paperwork in order is now a fundamental part of building a livestock facility. But while some national definitions apply, states, counties and local authorities may have specifics for you to consider.
That’s only part of the question. When considering to build a livestock facility, the real question you need to ask is, “What style of building works best for my operation?”
County fair season is wrapping up and State Fairs are under way across the country. For many livestock producer’s families, that has involved some level of 4-H, FFA or open show competitive events. Our customers’ families are proud contributors to these events and activities in their local communities.
You’re getting ready to investigate – just investigate, not build yet – a new beef facility. But where do you start? How do you find these people? And how do you communicate what your needs are so that they can provide solid guidance and steer you toward the beef facility for your needs, for your geography and for your budget.
Fresh air is a good thing for all of us – humans and bovines alike! Summit Livestock Facilities monoslope buildings have designed many innovative solutions in their facilities. One that our customers appreciate very much is the many advantages that proper airflow brings the operation.
Compliance with local, state and national regulations is a must and a top priority. Requirements, regulations, and permits for seamless operation on a daily basis must be fulfilled and managed to their full and complete extent. Updates and renewals are constant.
Sometimes it’s great to start fresh; with a clean slate, net new. But in reality, that’s not always how livestock production works. Sometimes change means making the old and the new work together.
Dave Lepley (Lepley Farms LLC), from Bellevue, Ohio, shares his perspective on managing his cattle's environment and comfort in a Summit Livestock Facilities gable barn.
There are three basic ways to communicate with cattle: sight, sound and touch. Cattle prefer to communicate through line of sight, so designing a building with a thorough understanding of the links between their eyesight and their movement and behavior is critical.
In 2016, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health examined 130 occupations and found laborers and farm owners had the highest rate of deaths due to stress-related conditions like heart and artery disease, hypertension, ulcers, and nervous disorder.
Originally introduced in the 1996 Farm bill, EQIP (short for Environmental Quality Incentive Program), is still a part of the proposed 2018 Farm Bill. However, an EQIP Improvement Act has been introduced to make changes that will have some impact on livestock producers.
Clark Stoller talks about why his farm in Gridley, Illinois, chose to build a Monoslope Beef Barn instead of some of the other options available.
A building provides shelter. True statement. But just like today’s protein producers, today’s livestock facilities must work smarter and harder to be flexible, more tech-savvy, more informed, and collaborative to allow producers to be profitable, productive and sustainable.
Too much or not enough of any resource can cause producers problems. Water is a big one – essential to life and a resource that continues to require more attention and management.
When summer heat hits, cattle can become stressed when exposed to high temperatures, still air, high humidity, etc. Animal welfare is important to cattle producers. While you cannot control the weather, bringing cattle into a Summit Livestock monoslope facility allows producers to the optimize the environment and mitigate some of the biggest challenges caused by hot weather exposure.
Ashton Gronewold is a cow-calf producer from Carthage, Illinois. Building a Summit Livestock Facilities monoslope has allowed their family’s operation to grow, now involving and supporting several generations.
Cow-calf producers using Summit Livestock Facilities monoslopes can adjust their operations to bringing cows and calves under-roof full-time or part time. Adjusting away from a spring calving season helps cattle producers optimize marketing options. Typically, markets tend to be lowest when supplies are high.
Cow-calf operations on pasture are missing out. They’re missing the harvest of a valuable fertilizer resource...manure. Even with a dry-lot operation, rain and exposure to the elements diminishes the value of manure.
It’s calving season! During February, March and April, roughly 60 percent of nation’s calves are born. Several factors make spring the common season for calving; availability of feed resources, target market and access to labor are just a few.
There’s a growing interest among cow-calf producers in bringing their cow-calf operation under roof. Monoslope facilities provide unique solutions to many production challenges with an indoor-outdoor type environment.
Cow-calf behavior, while it might be subtle, it plays an important role in the health of your herd. And your building can play a critical role in how your animals behave – around each other and alone.
Your building design can influence the control of diseases and parasites. Here are some things to consider.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – March 25, 2018 – Summit Livestock Facilities confirmed its support of Iowa agriculture through a $5,000 investment in the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).
People in agriculture are hard-wired to get excited when the calendar page turns, and winter departs. But along with the arrival of spring is a not-so welcomed management challenge. It is the very product of those warmer temperatures and spring rains – mud.
Farmers know you can’t do the same thing and expect different results. Protein producers make adjustments in their operations frequently – managing uncertainty in things like the weather, regulations, market prices, etc. But sometimes, as protein producers know, you need to re-think an issue to take advantage of the opportunities at hand, keep up with new ideas offered in production methods, technology, science, etc.
Is the demand for cage-free eggs disrupting technology? Is it causing big producers to abandon technology they have been using for the last 40 years with caged hens?
During the past year alone, Summit Livestock has been the subject of a great deal of buzz in the protein industry, and a lot of that excitement has centered on new innovations in cage-free egg production facilities. Wrap-the-Equipment™ is innovation.
Timing is everything and it’s one year closer to 2025. That’s the deadline that McDonalds set for sourcing 100% cage-free eggs. As if egg production wasn’t challenging enough, the complication of new designs to assure bird health, sustainable practices, and production efficiencies could easily slow how quickly egg producers can meet demand of companies like McDonalds.
It’s not uncommon. Partners in livestock production are part of the way we get this work done. For some, it’s a spouse, a sibling, or a parent they partner with in the farm operation. Some might say they look at their banker as a partner. You work with a variety of partners to help you run your business, help you manage risk, do some of the work, and give you time to spend for yourself.
Those migratory birds up above just might be off course. According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), severe weather in the upper eastern and western borders of the US and food sources depleted in the south by this last season’s hurricanes are causing migratory birds to veer off their normal routes. And because migratory birds carry diseases such as avian influenza (AI), now is the time to be even more diligent about protecting your flocks with biosecurity measures.
We’ve been talking about Summit Livestock’s sustainable approach to livestock buildings. It’s a three-pronged approach, protecting and supporting social, environmental and economic aspects of protein production.
Keeping your birds safe and away from infectious diseases means a vigilant and ongoing commitment to biosecurity. Summit Livestock Facilities looks at the facts along with the challenges producers face in implementing effective biosecurity measures. Looking at these factors together, we help our customers develop specific innovations and unique solutions to help you meet your business and operational goals. It’s about the health of your hens and the health of your investment.
Which way the wind blows does matter to cattle producers. Getting cattle out of mud, rain, snow many times influences profitability. And wind is just one of those important factors to consider when choosing a monoslope building for your operation.
We hear a lot about things like best practices, smart management and managing for profitability these days. And it’s no wonder. The world’s growing population needs to be fed, and farmers like you are working hard every day to mitigate risks and optimize production effectively. It’s how you do those things that matters most now and into the future.
No matter the size of your buildings or the number of hens, each farm needs a specific biosecurity plan. Underscoring that need, one only needs to look back at 2015 and the 49 million birds lost during the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) disaster.
Cattle have a thermoneutral zone where they are most comfortable. That’s why it is so important to be aware of how the structures they live in can contribute to that feeling of comfort. An animal’s thermoneutral zone is the temperature range in which they don’t have to expend energy to maintain normal body temperature.
(Carthage, IL) – Ashton Gronewold knew that getting started in farming would not be easy, but he was determined to make it work. After receiving a degree in Engineering and working away from the farm, Ashton realized that he wanted to return to the family farm full-time. Livestock provided an opportunity to be able to grow and allow multiple families to prosper.
REMINGTON, INDIANA; April 24, 2017 – Summit Livestock Facilities recently hosted media and guests at a Rose Acre Farms cage-free facility under construction in Pulaski County, Ind. Opening the event, Summit Livestock unveiled a new video explaining some of the many new, cutting-edge innovations that are changing how cage-free layer houses can be built.
REMINGTON, INDIANA; February 8, 2017 – Summit Livestock Facilities, LLC announces the acquisition of Heartland Builders Company based in Columbus, Nebraska. The acquisition will provide a stronger presence in the Northern Midwest, combining Heartland Builders’ reputation for quality construction in the area with Summit Livestock Facilities’ expertise and innovation in protein livestock facilities.
Summit Livestock Facilities, LLC has introduced Wrap-the-Equipment™, a patent-pending facility and construction design approach that is positioned to revolutionize the future of cage-free egg production.
Hydrogen sulfide can spike quickly and without warning during pit pumping. As producers, it's important that you keep in mind best practices for agitation and ventilation. During agitation, deadly gasses are possible.
Bruce Nielsen of Winner, South Dakota compares the difference of feeding cattle indoors vs outdoors and how his feed efficiency has stayed at a steady rate since building a Summit monoslope.
Kent Kraft, Farm Manager of Wm. Hughes Diller Sr. Trust located in Franklin, Illinois, explains how regulation changes helped him with his decision to purchase a Summit monoslope beef barn.
The Beef Specialists and Agricultural Engineers at Summit Livestock Facilities have been providing custom cattle housing solutions for protein producers throughout the Midwest for over a decade.
Now that you’re considering adding a monoslope facility to your operation, it’s time to think about where the ideal place to build is. You may have a spot picked out already because that’s where you have room, but there are other factors to consider.
Once you have made the decision to feed cattle under roof, you have several building designs to choose from. Typically, producers consider three options: gable, hoop, and monoslope buildings. After working with hundreds of producers to provide the right solution for their needs, we hear the same thought processes again and again on why they chose a monoslope instead of one of the other options.
Deciding to build an indoor cattle feeding facility can be a huge decision. Whether you are currently finishing cattle outdoors or considering diversifying your operation, there are many factors in determining whether or not it’s the right call for your operation and, more importantly, your family.
Jon Weitzenkamp, of Hooper, Nebraska, explains why he and his family chose to build a monoslope beef barn instead of some of the other options available.
Don Corkery, of Brandon, Iowa, talks about why his farm chose to build a monoslope beef barn instead of some of the other options available.
Ron Cramer of Macomb, Illinois, talks about why his farm chose to build a Monoslope Beef Barn instead of some of the other cattle housing options available.
Does Summit build in my area? We get a lot of questions from cattleman about our location and the areas in which we build - this blog will help answer those questions.
Craig Ferguson of Iowa shares his experience with Summit Livestock and why he ultimately chose a monoslope facility instead of one of the other designs he could have gone with.
Al & Karen talk about why they chose to feed cattle under roof and the efficient flow of the building. Listen to them explain why they chose a Monoslope Beef Barn with a deep pit to capture manure efficiently. Finally, the Lymans talk about how construction management (through Summit Livestock Facilities) saved them time and energy.
Kendall Claeys, of Belgian Acres Inc. located in Eastern Iowa, discusses why they chose to build a monoslope beef barn instead of some of the other options available. He also talks about the generation transition of farms and bringing the next generation back to the farm.
I needed to get my cattle out of the mud...we hear it all the time. Most of the cattle feeders who make the move to indoor cattle feeding tell us that improving operating efficiency by consolidating several smaller muddy outdoor lots into one easy-to-operate indoor facility was one of the best business decisions they have made.
Summit Livestock Facilities beef team put together a digital document loaded with thought-provoking information and ideas that address the question “Is feeding cattle indoors a good decision for my farm?”.
Summit Livestock Facilities and Dr. Ron Gill have jointly announced an exclusive agreement between the two whereby Dr. Gill will provide comprehensive cattle feeding facility reviews and low-stress cattle handling training for the customers of Summit Livestock Facilities.
Summit Livestock Facilities and Moe Russell, co-founder of the Russell Consulting Group, have jointly announced an agreement between the two whereby Moe Russell will provide independent third party financial consulting services to the customers of Summit Livestock Facilities.
An interview with Blake Durbin in regards to Larry Durbin's beef monoslope, built by Summit Livestock Facilities. Listen to Blake explain how getting cattle under roof reduces labor and improves overall cattle health.
If you're thinking about a new Summit Livestock Facilities monoslope beef barn and would like to provide your local government, zoning board, neighbors, and other interested parties more information about the economic benefits of your new facility then this research report may be of value to you.
We’re very pleased to see an article about Larry O'Hern, a Summit Livestock Facilities customer, featured on the website of Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service.
We’re pleased to announce that Summit Livestock Facilities is now an authorized dealer for Cancrete® waterers.
Summit Livestock Facilities is now an authorized dealer for Blue River Cattle Waterers.
Summit Livestock Facilities is pleased to be an authorized dealer for Bedrock’s high quality and durable feed bunks for cattle and calves. The Bedrock lineup includes end cables and posts, guardrail posts, weld pipe posts, and adjustable pipe posts.
Summit Livestock Facilities is now an authorized dealer for Bedrock cattle slats and we are very pleased to make Bedrock slats a part of our total beef barn solutions offering.
Will you cattle be warm and dry? Generally our customers tell us they are “at least $100 - $125 per head per turn to the good” compared to feeding cattle in an outdoor open lot.
The newest version of the Summit Livestock Facilities DVD is now available. To request your copy visit our resource library.
Nic Rowe (Pro Ag Engineering, Jackson, MN) is a Professional Engineer and is licensed in 5 states (IA, MN, SD, NE, and WI). In this video, Nic talks about environmental concerns of the EPA as it relates to eliminating run-off.
“I’m a considering moving from an open feedlot to feeding cattle under roof. Where do I start?”
One Bookings, South Dakota, area 5th grader had beef producers shaking their heads in wonder at a recent Summit Livestock Facilities beef barn open house.
We’re pleased to announce that Summit Livestock Facilities has been appointed an authorized dealer of the Priefert Ranch Equipment line of cattle equipment.
Look no further than Summit Livestock Facilities. Summit Livestock Facilities is now an authorized dealer for both the Daniels Manufacturing Company Bud Box Coral products as well as the Priefert line of Bud Box Corals.
Look no further than a Roll-O-Matic Curtain – now available from Summit Livestock Facilities.
Summit Livestock Facilities just announced that they have been appointed as an authorized distributor of high quality rubber mat products for EasyFix Rubber Products (Agri & Industrial Rubber Limited).
Dr. Ron Gill, Ph.D Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist at Texas A&M, has authored a new paper exclusively for Summit Livestock Facilities. The new information provides producers insight to the subtle but very important differences in achieving Low Stress Cattle Handling in confinement feeding operations such as a monoslope beef barn.
Duane Riddle of Rochester, Indiana, explains the importance of airflow ventilation in a cattle feeding facility and why he chose a monoslope beef barn design for his cattle backgrounding and beef cattle growing operation.
Larry O'Hern of Vermont, Illinois explains how the rubber slats over pit design of his monoslope beef barn has increased operating efficiency and productivity, improved animal health, improved feed efficiency, rate of gain and overall cattle performance.
6 Critical Factors That Will Impact Your Decision
We all know cattle need food water fresh air and sunshine – especially in the winter. A recent article by Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, highlights the biology behind the truth nearly every feedlot operator knows – cattle fed indoors and kept dryer produce far more profit potential than cattle subjected to winter stress in cold wet outdoor lots.
An interview with Brent Lorimor of Farragut, Iowa, in regards to his monoslope beef barn, built by Summit Livestock Facilities. Listen to what he has to say about the overall performance of his beef barn and how it's improving his cattle comfort, health and profitability.
David Eisenmann shares his thoughts on the benefits of his monoslope beef barn. Learn a little bit about David's beef cattle feedlot operation and hear why he chose a Summit Livestock Facilities Monoslope Beef Barn.
Dan Koons, past president of the National Cattleman's Beef Association, talks about Funk Farm's monoslope cattle confinement building designed and built by Summit Livestock Facilities.
Donnie & Tamara Lawson talk about feeding cattle indoors and tell why the time is right for Indiana beef producers to look into this option.
Discover what Illinois cow/calf operators are learning about finishing cattle indoors. Todd Slykhuis shares his experience with the expansion and ROI of his operation.
I have had the pleasure of watching a true master in the art and science of low-stress cattle handling at work. Dr. Tom Noffsinger has educated his mastery of stockmanship to thousands of cattle producers over the United States.
Report reveals how beef producers may successfully feed finishing steers up to 70% of the diet dry matter without greatly compromising the outcomes.
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of a newly published 24-page paper on Cattle Feeding Buildings in the Midwest.
The manure management and storage system employed in your confinement cattle facility will impact the project cost at the time of construction and have a lasting impact on operating efficiency as well as cattle health and cattle performance…and profitability for the life of the facility. Environmental regulations and the desire to capture the value of cattle manure have increased manure storage needs in these facilities.
No doubt you can remember some of Illinois’ worst summer seasons in years past, especially those marked by an excessive heat wave or two that caused cattle losses in the thousands.
The manure management and storage system in your cattle confinement facility will impact the total project cost, cattle health, and labor required…and thusly profitability. Though many approaches have been implemented, most producers install a solid floor (concrete or a combination of concrete and either clay or lime) referred to as a bed pack system or deep pits with slats overtop.
Slats over Pit Manure Management and Storage offers beef feedlots labor savings and optimizes manure value. We have noticed an increased interest in Slats over Pit Manure Management and Storage systems, especially in regions of the US where environmental regulations have called for increased manure storage requirements for newly permitted facilities.
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regulations regarding the permitting and construction of enclosed beef feedlot facilities in Minnesota.
Most of us get how important it is to conserve cash during good times in order to ensure we are able to weather the financial storms of leaner times. But in March 2012, I had the opportunity to hear it and much more from one of the most respected financial consultants serving the livestock industry–Moe Russell of Russell Consulting Group.
Dr. Paul Walker of Illinois State University has advised us that he has a tractor and compost turner to place on an Illinois beef feedlot with a deep bed pack manure system on a two-year loan basis.
When is a Pond Not a Pond
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) regulations regarding the permitting and construction of enclosed beef feedlot facilities in Nebraska.
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about business planning for beef feedlot operators.
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) regulations regarding the permitting and construction of enclosed beef feedlot facilities in Iowa.
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about Michigan National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program and the Right to Farm Act including the Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMP).
Miles Ridgway, President of Summit Livestock Facilities a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about manure management guidelines for producers operating indoor feedlots.
Miles Ridgway President of Summit Livestock Facilities, a DBA and brand of FBi Buildings Inc., has announced the availability of newly published information about the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) regarding the permitting of confined beef feedlot operations in Indiana.