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The Precision Load Cell handling and managing feed for hogs
NEW TECH: One of the many new products introduced at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines this week is the Edge Bin Scale System, providing producers better feed management control.

What to expect at 2018 Iowa Pork Congress

Various learning opportunities will be offered at annual expo and trade show this week in Des Moines.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association is holding the biggest wintertime pork industry convention and trade show Jan. 24-25 in Des Moines: the 2018 Iowa Pork Congress. It’s being held at the Iowa Events Center downtown.

“Our trade show is second to none, and companies from Iowa and all over the U.S. and the world are exhibiting their products and services,” says Curtis Meier, president of IPPA. “Our exhibitors are visiting with pork producers about what they need and offer solutions to help producers become more efficient, profitable and successful. Many of the companies are rolling out new or enhanced products and services. You can learn more about those by visiting our New Product Showcase.”

Educational sessions
The Pork Information Plaza includes information from IPPA, Pork Checkoff, National Pork Producers Council, Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, Iowa State University Extension and several other organizations.

There’s also a lineup of seminars on timely topics and issues of great importance to pork producers and the industry. “These seminars captivate and educate,” Meier says, who with his family has a hog farming operation in southwest Iowa.

This year’s presentations include “Utilizing Livestock Manure in a Cover Crop Program,” presented by ISU ag engineers Dan Andersen and Matt Helmers. Economist Steve Meyer is discussing hog price outlook and profitability prospects for 2018 and beyond. Also, ISU’s Erik Potter is explaining how not to fail an environmental audit if inspectors show up at your hog farm. Attorney Eldon McAfee is discussing the practical aspects of compliance with Iowa Department of Natural Resources regulations, as well as other environmental protection and compliance issues.

No need to climb bins to check feed
A number of new products are exhibited at the trade show this week. One that’s attracting a lot of attention is the Edge Bin Scale System with new Precision Load Cell. It’s manufactured and marketed by Automated Production Systems, an Agco company.

ACCURACY: The Precision Load Cell is also part of the new Edge Bin Scale System for handling and managing feed on hog farms.

“This advanced system provides pork producers with the highest level of accuracy with extensive feed management control,” says Brian Rieck, AP product manager. “The patent pending Precision Load Cell, designed with a convenient built-in lifting mechanism, can be easily installed on a feed tank without the need for additional lifting equipment.”

Rieck says Edge Bin Scale Systems use a versatile, single technology platform that provides convenient and cost-efficient features to help monitor and manage feed inventory and consumption. “Producers no longer need to climb bins to check feed levels,” he says. “They can receive automatic notifications when feed bins are running low, track inventory in real-time, and analyze historical data, water usage and more.”

Connect from anywhere
The system’s cloud-based architecture gives producers remote control to conveniently connect with any web-enabled device — computer, tablet or smartphone — from their office, truck or other location. “Should a problem occur,” Rieck notes, “the system can notify you immediately via text message or email, saving valuable time and money.”

Other features of this technology include quick and easy setup via a simple user-friendly interface and a modular architecture that allows the system to be adapted as a producer’s operation expands. Additionally, Edge enables producers to control all of the environmental functions in their production facilities, whether that involves a large operation with dozens of sites or small facilities with one or two buildings.

To learn more, Rieck says producers can contact their AP dealer or visit

TAGS: Education
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