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Pig Mats Win - Heat Stress Solved

Innovative mats enhance pork farm productivity and welfare

By: Farms.com

Two Purdue University College of Agriculture professors have developed cooling mat technology that recently garnered the Producer’s Choice Award at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.  

These mats, designed by Professors Allan Schinckel and Robert M. Stwalley III, are set to transform pig farming by significantly mitigating heat stress in pigs. 

Manufactured and sold in North America by IHT Group of Winnipeg, the IHT Cooling Mats are designed for durability and ease of use, aiming to optimize pork production operations. 

Chris Grant, President of IHT Group, highlighted the mats' broad impact, stating, “Our innovative cooling mats will reduce heat stress, improve production, and enhance animal welfare. After rigorous tests, we have manufactured a cooling mat that has shown incredible results for both sows and boars.” 

These mats improve the general welfare of the animals and have proven effects on sow and boar productivity.  

Research indicates that sows using these mats experience lower body temperatures and respiration rates, leading to improved litter growth.  

Similarly, boars show enhanced semen quality, which can lead to higher conception rates and healthier litters. 

The cooling technology is particularly vital as heat stress is a major issue in the swine industry, costing approximately $900 million annually in the U.S. alone.  

By addressing this problem, IHT Cooling Mats enhance milk production in sows, improve feed intake, and overall piglet health and growth. 

Introduced at the National Hog Farmer’s 2024 New Product Tour and showcased during the Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference, the mats received accolades from industry experts and stakeholders.  

The Producer’s Choice Award was determined through a combination of expert reviews and online voting by industry peers. 

This advance has set a new standard in pig farming, offering a practical and effective solution to combat the billion-dollar problem of heat stress, thereby transforming the future of pig farming and setting new benchmarks in animal welfare and farm management.

 


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