Santrev Launches R&D Farm at Field Day

AUSTRALIA - Santrev has unveiled a real gem for the Australian Poultry industry at a field day on their broiler farm at Coominya, South East Queensland.
calendar icon 1 November 2013
clock icon 4 minute read

Held in conjunction with the recent PIX conference, a bus-load of participants toured the property and learned of the R&D the company shall undertake.

“Co-ordinating the launch of our R&D farm with the timing of PIX meant that we were able to show through interested farmers who had travelled to the conference,” said Luke Trevanion, Managing Director of Santrev. “In fact it ended up being a multinational event with farmers from Australia, New Zealand, China and Fiji. Interest was really high so we ended up running two events, one before PIX for a New Zealand group and one immediately after.”

In typical Santrev style, the field day was well organised and very professional. Participants enjoyed a bus ride from the pick-up at PIX to the farm at Coominya. This included a quick stop at Fernvale to enjoy the famous pies. Back in the bus and Luke detailed the company’s R&D plans for the farm.

“Santrev has always been at the forefront of development and innovation. We are very interested in how our sheds perform and how we can improve them. As growers and builders, we feel we are in a unique position to fine tune the shed and the management. There are a lot of ideas we have and we just can’t wait to trial them and to quantify the benefits and savings.”

Once on farm, the attendees were divided into smaller groups and enjoyed a detailed farm tour.

“It was an ideal way to demonstrate what this farm is about,” said Richard Sanday, the long serving builder and Director of Santrev. “The property has two farms on it, Valley which has 400,000 birds and Hilltop which will have 300,000 birds. We are part way through the construction at Hilltop so we had sheds in varying stages of construction. The attendees where able to get up close and ask lots of questions.”

After the walking tour, the attendees were treated to a massive lunch and then three presentations. Geoff Fisher, a Director of Santrev briefly outlined the new shedding innovations that Santrev is developing. “We are going to build a very special shed at Hilltop. This shed will be the super, thermal efficient shed.” said Geoff. “We expect that we can lift the overall thermal rating of the new shed without increasing the building cost.”

Steve McGoldrick who is well known to the Australian Poultry Industry having held State Production Manager positions with Baiada and Veterinary positions with Inghams, spoke about energy efficiency as well as biosecurity. Luigi Di Clemente of FarmMark detailed the SKOV controller and ventilation package that was specified for the sheds.

The Hilltop farm is possibly unique amongst large scale commercial broiler farms in Australia. “It is very important that we are able to measure all inputs and outputs”, said Geoff. “We have the sheds individually metered for power and water consumption and we have installed feed weighers. In conjunction, we have perch weighers and the many sensors inherent with the SKOV controller. From this we are able to monitor on a daily basis bird performance, the micro environment and energy consumption. We are really excited by what we will be able to measure and develop.”

Here is a snap shot of the performance trials that Santrev will undertake:

  • energy-efficient lighting trial
  • energy-efficient cooling system
  • energy-efficient heating system
  • energy-efficient heating techniques
  • shed innovations – to have a super energy-efficient test shed
  • odour testing – different litter types, different ventilation management
  • energy-efficient ventilation – variable speed axial fans versus fixed speed batter type (axial fans can maintain negative static pressure at low revolution)

“We feel it is really important to be able to talk to our growers and processors about our findings,” said Luke. We also expect there could be some really interesting pointers to come out of our R&D. We have skin in the game here, it is very important that we continue to improve our grower performance.”

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