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HybridFarm Report Summary

Project ID: 673453

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HybridFarm (Eco-innovative housing solution for efficient production of slaughterpigs with limited environmental impact.)

Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Production of pig meat has intense environmental burden both in the local neighbor population and in overall air pollution impact. This is our drive to develop novel and disruptive solutions towards a more intelligent, efficient and sustainable pig production. A constant market drive to increase production efficiency shall not be contra dictionary to society demands for an environmentally cleaner and more animal- friendly pig farming industry. Succeeding with an innovative pig production concept which at same time offers bigger production with less input and less pollution is success for the society as well as for the pig production industry. In short, HybridFarm focus on the environmental burden, the carbon footprint, the animal welfare and improved production efficiency of slaughter pig production – and will demonstrate significant improvement for all topics at the same time.

Main objectives important for the society:
Pollution from pig farming activities are at a high negative level of health impact. Ammonia is one of the key air polluting elements from agricultural activities and creates a safety hazard for both the workers and the animals. Furthermore, it poses a permanent problem to the surrounding population, fauna and flora. There is an urgent need to limit the environmental burden of pig farming air pollution. However, it is in the interest of the society not to limit the pig farming activities, but to increase them, because pig farming processes a big potential for economic growth – jobs and income (private and national economic).
Another important topic is the carbon footprint associated with pig farming activities. The HybridFarm is focused on new and more energetically efficient housing solutions – actually will employment of the patent pending Hybrid Ventilation concept save not less than 60 pct. of energy.
Livestock welfare has become a topic of particular public concern and media attention. For instance, one of the main findings given by the Eurobarometer survey on this matter was that over 50% of consumers from across the EU25 considered that levels of farm animal welfare are not adequate. Streamlining of pig production must not lead to over-exploration of animals. HybridFarm will demonstrate that improving of livestock welfare can go along with streamlining of the production process and that adding environmental technologies do not necessary means impairments for the accommodated animals.
The HybridFarm will contribute to a more sustainable and resource-efficient production of pigs, leaving room for a higher production but with less input and less pollution.
Main objectives of the HybridFarm project:
Objective 1: Build two IntelliFarm barns to demonstrate the efficiency of this housing solution for slaughter pigs in full-scale. These barns will be equally used for client showcasing as well as test sites to achieve VERA certification.
Objective 2: Optimize the local customization process for IntelliFarm barn building, in order to provide an optimal solution to the end-user’s needs at the chosen building locations. The feedback of the end-users will be of greatest importance during this process. This will enable the development of best practices for future clients.
Objective 3: Upon building and complete testing of the two IntelliFarm barns for slaughter pigs, the testing protocols for VERA certification will be undertaken in order to obtain an independent endorsement to the underlying technological solutions within an IntelliFarm. This certification will allow entering key markets with a competitive edge.
Objective 4: Continuous optimization of the performance of all the technical elements involved with an IntelliFarm barn. In particular, the optimization of the climate control and the hybrid ventilation systems will be of critical importance for the overall performance of the Intellifarm.
Objective 5: Update the market strategy and business plan for efficient market entrance and optimal market positioning. In particular, the introduction on key markets (DK, GER, GB, NL, Poland and Sweden) will be focused, as it represents more than 50% of the overall EU pig production market. Also raising social awareness around the impact of pig farming in the environment and the associated health-costs will be a fundamental vector in Agrifarm’s communication strategy.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We have already pointed out last year, that because of the bureaucracy and difficult times for farmers to obtain credit for the construction of housing units, the Hybrid Farm project will be considerably delayed (one year). We have seen that the three farmers who supplied us with an end-user statement at the time of submitting our application to Horizon 2020 did not succeed to obtain the financing. Two of them, Frank Højgaard Andersen, DK and Ralf Lange, DE are totally outside the possibility to participate in the HybridFarm project, while Kristian Højer Berg, DK will be granted a financing later, but too late for participating in the HybridFarm project.
Since early this year we have concentrated our efforts looking for alternatives. The job was to find farmers who had the spirit to believe in the completely new barn concept with the innovative and different technologies compared to what is usually chosen by farmers. But also it was important that their bankers could be convinced to grant the necessary credits to enable the farmers to sign a contract with AgriFarm. Furthermore, it was important that the sites where barns were going to be build could be granted all the necessary permits - environmental permit, construction permit, permit from fire protection authorities and so on. This process takes usually from 6 to 12 months. However, we succeed to find new candidates who can participate in the HybridFarm project. Three candidates met the above conditions. They are Knud Kjær Knudsen, DK, Peder Rasmussen, DK and Varestorp- gaard.Laholm,Se. Today we have signed contract, obtained full license package and bank payment guarantee for Knud Kjær Knudsen and Peder Rasmussen. The construction of the barn at the Knud Kjær Knudsen site was started in September and the construction of the barn at the Peder Rasmussen site will start next week. (See attached photos). We will shortly apply the Horizon2020 for an amendment to the contract to ensure the necessary time to execute the HybridFarm project in accordance with the Grant.

Activities in the WPs since project start (1st August 2015:

Overall administrative management of the project and leadership.

Full design with technical calculations to 4 sites. This includes the ongoing optimization of the planned construction process compared to original ideas.
Full license package comprising environmental permit, building permit, fire approval, sewer approval and various dispensations due to the very large size of the barn. Communication with municipalities to achieve understanding of the use of special permits from governmental environmental authority relating to IntelliFarm technologies in relation to the use of known standard solutions.

Construction of the first barn started in September and construction of second barn starts in early November. It is clear that during the construction period it will require much time for the actual construction process and installation of technical equipment. However, the period before construction starts is also a labor-intensive period. First and foremost, it is important that the process is carefully planned, to make it as short and intensive as possible. It is also important to anticipate potential conflicts in the location of various equipment, particularly in the case of high-technology systems like IntelliFarm. But also work plans for workers and fitters are essential. The processes and solutions that have been worked on include following:
1. Development of a new roof type for quicker installation.
2. Development of a new window/air intake type for cost saving and quicker installation.
3. Development of new wall types for cost saving and quicker installation.
4. Optimizing fire protection setup for cost saving.
5. Investigating and selection of new motor type for window/air intake opening.
6. New design of an automatic manure drain valve.
7. Optimizing the routing of pipelines for heating-, cooling, and soaking systems.
8. Optimizing the routing power and low current cables.
9. Standardization of low current electric switchboards to SmartFarm.
10. Plan for the location of the equipment and installations to secure easier maintenance and for cost savings in installation.
11. Looking for more relevant and capable sub-suppliers to get more inspiration and to get better prices.

We have worked extensively with optimization of IntelliFarm technologies. Although these techlologies are considered as the ultimate in the market, will the improvement and optimization never be completed. We have so far focused on the main technologies, which are Hybrid ventilation, Agri Airclean and SmartFarm. The most important optimizations done, are:
1. Control of CO2 concentration in the animal occupied zone improves the pickup of emissions.
2. Optimization of the operation of the Agri Aircleaner reaching a level of State of the Art – no known agricultural aircleaner is cleaning at that high level.
3. General improvement of the SmartFarm control system optimizing the indoor climate.
4. Upsizing and improvement of the graphic display on the control units of SmartFarm inviting the end-user tp do more monitoring of the indoor climate while staying in the barn.

The responsible person for WP6 started his job April 1st 2016, month 9 after HybridFarm project start.
Between month 9, April 1. 2016 and month 12, July 31. 2016 following activities were carried out:
Reading and learning all about the HybridFarm concept and technologies. Creating marketing material as: Presentations, Brochures, Updating website. Preparing a market dissemination and communication plan.Finding relevant events, exhibitions, conferences. Participation in exhibition “Pig & Poultry Fair”, NAEC Stoneleigh, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG, UK, May 10+11. 2016. Contact to AHDB Pork, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL, UK, Nigel Penlington and Susan Rabbich. We got the opportunity to be at the fair, having “base” at AHDB stand and here way got contact to relevant companies and persons. This exhibition was interesting and gave a lot new contacts, good information about how the market in UK is operating. Communication is still going on with AHDB, they try to arrange a trip to DK with some interesting people in the fall 2016. Finding and planning events, exhibitions that might be interesting for us to participate into: SPACE Fair in Rennes, France, September 13+14+15+16. Elmia Fair in Jönköping, Sweden, October 18+19+20. EuroTier in Hannover, Germany, November 15+16+17+18. Agromek in Herning Denmark, November 29+30 + December 1+2.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

As described above, the project has not proceed so far, that one can point out the State of the Art situations of the Hybridfarm project. It will only happen when the two housing units have been built, when the technologies are installed and when animals have been accommodated in the barns. In order to utilize the time before and during construction going on, we are already optimizing on technology options in a test barn. The results are very promising and actually exceeding expectations. This applies to both barn technologies such as Hybrid Ventilation and the air cleaning technology Agri Airclean. However, we can mention that preliminary but reliable tests show, that Agri Airclean with the latest improvements, on a test site, shows a cleaning efficiency of 98 per cent for ammonia and 88 percent for odor emissions. This will definitely be the state of the art - and there is no knowledge of other air cleaners that, achieve this high efficiency.

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