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Sustainable Cooling for Agriculture Needs

Agriculture remains a critical and sizable industry both in the U.S. and worldwide. According to the USDA, America’s farms contributed $136.1 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. Globally, agriculture generates $2.4 trillion of value to the economy. Farmers rely on a variety of environmental factors to ensure they produce a successful crop and maintain a healthy operation. This often means proactive planning for factors to mitigate losses. One of those factors is relative to the weather and extreme temperatures.

Keeping agriculture facilities cool is an ongoing and increasing challenge. Keeping farm animals cool and comfortable during hot weather is an important function for any farmer. Farm sciences and studies show that the more comfortable your animals are, the healthier they are likely to be. Hot summers can make the heat within structures, such as barns, unbearable, putting animal growth at risk. Yet tight margins leave little room for producers to absorb rising energy costs to cool their barns (and even greenhouses that many farmers utilize to cultivate and sustain plant life) with air conditioning. Fixed evaporative cooling can be a cost-effective option in an agricultural setting due to the small amount of energy an evaporative system uses and low maintenance cost.

Specific animal examples of heat stress impact

Swine and poultry are more susceptible to heat stress than other animals and need additional support during the hot summer months.

Take pigs, for example: unlike other animals, pigs are unable to sweat. Due to their lack of sweat production and relatively small lungs, pigs are more prone to heat stress since many animals use sweating and panting as a means to cool down. Pigs will drink more water when they are too hot, although this lowers the electrolytes in their body to a dangerous level which can cause an acidic/basic imbalance and lead to a severe health crisis. Maintaining the ambient temperature at an acceptingly comfortable range through the usage of fixed evaporative cooling will reduce the threat of heat stress.

The poultry coop is another area where more attention is needed during warm months. Chickens can handle themselves in Kuul Vitality™ Series Evaporative Cooling Media freezing temperatures without heat lamps; however, careful consideration is required on the opposite end of the temperature spectrum when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Chickens cannot sweat and cannot lose excess heat fast enough to maintain a comfortable body temperature. One sign of overheating is chickens who hold their wings away from their bodies because they are trying to increase airflow to cool down. This is another instance where installing a fixed evaporative cooling system in the chicken coop can be a failsafe way to keep conditions at a comfortable temperature by allowing the coolers to circulate cool air in the coop.

Other cooling tips: consider frozen treats. Similar to humans, both pigs and chickens are known to enjoy a frozen treat or two. Freeze some peas, watermelon, small pieces of strawberry, or even their standard feed as a way to cool down their body temperatures from the inside out.

Considerations when choosing evaporative media for agriculture usage

Kuul Vitality series is a line of evaporative cooling technology explicitly designed to withstand the challenging environments found in agricultural facilities regardless of the cooling need. This series uses a proprietary edge coating technology called DuraPro™ that extends the life of the evaporative media. DuraPro™ prevents light from entering the media and reduces algae growth.

Overall benefits of evaporative cooling

When considering if fixed evaporative cooling is for you, remember these key facts:

If you have any questions about which media is right for your farm, the Kuul customer service team can be contacted at kuulsupport@portacool.com and (800) 695-2942. They are ready to chat about the different customizations and cooling benefits for any agricultural applications.