Now in its 11th year, this gathering of manufacturers and swine producers showcases new products, educational events and breed shows. Take a look at our recent discoveries from this June show in Des Moines.

A new Promis

FBS Software and the University of Minnesota have linked their respective grow-finish and accounting modules with PigChamp to create a fully integrated version called Promis. It is designed to give producers the advantage of a complete cost analysis at every production phase from breeding to finish plus the ability to track profits. Benefits of this integrated system include single-point data entry that will record a sale in accounting and simultaneously update the inventory in the production module. Your records are consistently more timely, complete and accurate, and the system allows easy access of information the instant you need it for urgent decisions. Contact Farm Business Software, 1855 55th Ave., Aledo, IL 61231-8610, 800/437-7638.

Smart fan

CDC Motors exhibited the new Ziehl-Abegg ETAvent farm-duty, direct-drive fan at the show. This general ventilation fan incorporates a built-in microprocessor-based control system with the motor to deliver high efficiency throughout the entire rpm range for lowest possible operating costs, along with extremely quiet operation. According to the company, the fan will consume 40% less energy, and it features a LON interface to tie into a ventilation system. Contact CDC Motors and Ventilators, Dept. FIN, 1170 Bergeron St., Drummondville, Quebec, Canada J2C 7G3, 819/478-1198.

Building forms (c)

Although expanded polystyrene (EPS) technology has long been used in residential markets as insulated concrete forming systems, its manufacturers are beginning to apply EPS to agricultural products, specifically livestock confinements. AAB Building Systems from Canada is promoting its Blue Maxx hog barn system for greater durability, cooler summer temperatures to improve breeding and feed conversion conditions, reduced bacteria absorption and rodent resistance. This insulated forming system can be used from below grade up to the roof and is claimed to be as cost-effective for pit construction. Using these forms can increase building costs 10 to 15%, but the company claims that their use will result in an annual 30 to 50% energy cost savings for heating and cooling, plus lower insurance costs because it's a nonburnable structure. Contact AAB Building Systems, Dept. FIN, 840 Division St., Cobourg, Ontario, Canada K9A 4J9, 800/293-3210.

Customized feeding To help producers meet today's demand for leaner pork, MoorMan's now offers an improved breeding herd feed line of products called Parity Plus, designed to work with the company's computerized and customized feeding system (MoorLink). Parity Plus is designed to help producers maximize production and build durability into today's delicate sows by making proper nutritional decisions. The Parity Plus program features different formulations for sows and gilts (in different reproductive stages) and boars. For a computerized recommendation, contact MoorMan's Inc., Dept. FIN, 1000 N. 30th St., Box C1, Quincy, IL 62305-3115, 800/222-6678.

Food preparation

Sudenga has introduced a new 3-ton M6000 mixer, the biggest in its line of horizontal feed mixers. Powered by a 25-hp mixer motor, its dual ribbon and paddle agitation design delivers transverse and circular mixing that's complete and accurate. It features a double air gate for faster unloading and helical gear drive that is quieter and requires less maintenance that chain d rives. Contact Sudenga Industries Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 8, George, IA 51237, call toll free at 888/783-3642.

Programmed sow feeding

Osborne introduced two new products to improve sow feeding and estrus detection, both tied into its Electronic Animal Recognition System (EARS). Supported by Porcode and ear button identification technology, the new Electronic Farrowing Management (EFM, shown) dispenses only the proper amount of feed that's been programmed into the button of the sow. Used in an open farrowing room, the sow determines when she wants to eat, with the goal of optimizing the conditions for lactating sows.

Also new is an Electronic Estrus Detection unit (not shown). Producers can cut down on open days and keep sows bred because each time a sow sticks her nose through this hole into the boar pen, the ear button records when she visited and how long she stayed. The computer then uses a formula to calculate these data into an estrus-level reading.

Contact Osborne Indus-tries Inc., Dept. FIN, 120 N. Industrial Ave., Box 388, Osborne, KS 67473, 913/346-2192.

Labor-saving feeder

Delivering a higher feed intake needed by lactating sows to obtain higher weaning weights and enhanced reproductive performance is a challenge without increasing labor. Farmweld claims that its new LaborSaver sow feeder handles this task while reducing labor by an estimated 50 to 75%. The large, single-hole, stainless steel self-feeder mounts on the front gate of the farrowing crate, 4 in. off the floor. The sow moves a feed agitator at the bottom of a tall feed bin to release a small amount of feed each time, until the sow is satisfied. The agitator stops the flow of feed when untouched, so there's no extra feed to be wasted. Contact FarmWeld, Dept. FIN, Rt. 2, Box 1B, Teutopolis, IL 62467, 800/328-7675.