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Contract Production & Energy Efficiency in Poultry Production

April 1, 2013

Trainees look at equipment used in a finishing barn at Lakewood TurkeyLakewood Turkey Farm, owned and operated by Mike Langmo of Eden Valley, graciously hosted 15 of The MN Project’s Farm Energy Auditor Program students on March 26.  The site visit was a success for our students on all accounts.  After following appropriate bio-security measures, students gained entry to Lakewood’s brooder and finisher barns to measure insulation, propane heaters, motors, electrical equipment…and meet with 17,000 turkeys.  Most importantly, students and instructors had the chance to talk to Mr. Langmo at length about the efficiencies and economics of his farm.

Lakewood Turkey Farm is already thinking ahead.  In the spring of 2012, Lakewood installed LED poultry lights in one of two finisher barns to cut electricity costs.  Mr. Langmo was keenly aware of his heating and ventilation costs and their impacts to his flock production.  Lakewood Turkey Farm’s production contract, and likely the production contracts of many other farmers, did not provide sufficient incentive to address aging insulation for reduced heating costs.  Under the production contract, the propane heating costs were covered by the corporate processor; the corporate processor held the incentive to insulate to keep heating costs low.

Lakewood Turkey, however, was not about to invest thousands of dollars in insulation and infrastructure costs because that efficiency would only be socialized throughout the cost of production the corporate processor offers to all turkey farmers under contract.  The return on investment for insulation upgrades to Lakewood Turkey’s barns was virtually non-existent.  Just as well, the corporate processor had little incentive to pay for upgrades to property owned by Lakewood Turkey Farm and Mr. Langmo.  In the end, everyone and no one suffered the economic consequences of heat waste.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2013 9:58 am

    Very nice and informative blog. Poultry farming is absolutely a lucrative business. I always search for this types of news and blog post related to poultry birds and poultry farming business. Really enjoyed your website writing.
    Poultry Farming


  1. LEDs or HPS? – That Is the Question |

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