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Preps found wanting, or sufficient in current severe weather
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adam2
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weather is still a bit cooler than average, but not in any way exceptional.

The only significant ongoing consequence is that LPG is still in very short supply.
Bulk LPG, the stuff delivered by road tanker, has been in very short supply for over a month with many customers now completely out and suffering from want of heating and cooking if reliant on this fuel as many rural households are.
Calor gas, the main distributor of this fuel have been heavily criticised for failing to supply.

There is now a severe shortage of LPG in cylinders as well, Some people with empty bulk tanks have been utilising cylinders instead.
The cold weather has driven up demand significantly.
I know of someone with two bulk tanks, both empty. In the coldest weather they were using a 47kg cylinder a day mainly for livestock warming.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anecdotally, people in my country are using/have been using more fuel than is usual for spring.

At the beginning of a month, there's often news stories of 'wettest January on record', 'windiest August on record'. I suspect we'll have 'coldest March on record'. Laughing
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using one 47kg cylinder a day is bloody expensive and I would be looking for ways of reducing that use considerably. Things like enclosing the building, lowering the roof height and reducing the ventilation rate, although great care would have to be exercised in doing that, would help considerably with the excess heat loss. What sort of livestock was it Adam?

We are having more problems with the amount of water coming out of the sky at the moment. We've got a river where we've never had a river before.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The livestock heating was mainly for ewes with lambs.
These normally do fine outdoors, but in view of the severe weather the owner brought inside most of the flock.

Several hundred lambs reared thus, so the cost per head was not bad and well justified by the premium price that early lamb fetches.

Also 6 sows with improbable numbers of piglets each.

LPG also used domestically and for heating and lighting the basic accommodation provided for veterinary and agriculture students who "enjoyed" a working holiday.
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At risk of going off track on preparations found wanting but those agricultural grain dryers really used to chew through diesel.

I suppose the gas is not used much for the lambs except during unusual cold spells but you would think that some form of biomass or heat pump could be employed. Mind you are talking about farmers here. Back in the 1940s my father was assisting in the electrification of the Staffordshire Moorlands. he said that, in general, sheep farmers wanted one light bulb in the "shippum" and fought very hard against having any electric supply wired in the farmhouse itself.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the heat in that situation is from gas fired radiant heaters. Not very safe with all that straw about, you would have thought, but it seems to be the standard. In a proper stock house you could achieve the same more efficiently and much safer by a wet underfloor heating system with separate controls for the creep area in each pen.

Most years, however, you wouldn't need to use such a house so you come down to the same economics again of how much do we spend in the UK to combat heavy snow that only occurs over most of the country every ten years or so. And, yes I know, there are some areas where it occurs every year but in these areas they are better prepared for it than us Southern Softies.
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Most of the heat in that situation is from gas fired radiant heaters.


I think the capital costs of such heaters are probably quite low. While the fuel costs are high if they are not used very much then the overall running costs are probably not that bad. Some farmers (maybe not you) are very conservative and reluctant to invest in new more energy efficient things like wet underfloor heating. Why biomass and anaerobic digestion is not used more on UK farms I don't know. Probably the capital costs I suppose.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both are being advertised and used on British farms but, in the case of anaerobic digesters, mostly on the larger ones because of capital cost and the availability of feedstock. Anaerobic Digestion requires a large scale application in the UK because the low ambient temperatures for much of the year mean that either heating or good insulation of a large plant is required for the bacteria to work. The larger the plant the better the ratio of volume to surface area so that a large plant holds its heat much better than a small one.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the day (1971) we had a wooden stable that did not pass muster as a milk shipping barn but was fine for raising young stock and housing the family cow. We wintered about ten head in it neck chained in stalls with a manger in front and gutter behind with about four feet between mangers and cows. The cows were let out every day to get water from the water tub in the barnyard while we mucked out the gutter. The animal heat from the livestock kept the stable pretty comfortable most of the time but in the dead of winter there would be frost on the walls and windows as much as a half inch thick when the outside temperature was lower then twenty below F. A couple of times we had a calf born during such cold conditions and fearing that the calf could not be dried off by it's mother we covered it with a horse blanket and carried it the hundred yards to the house and placed it in a wood box 30 x80x48 inches behind the kitchen stove to keep it warm. We bottle fed them from colostrum from it's mother and reunited them after the weather broke and it was frisky enough to try to jump out of the wood box.
Many a lamb has received similar care by the owners that could not afford to lose them.
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many farmers here have been caught out by the long wet and cold spring. Grass is just visibly beginning to grow again and I wish I had laid in a much bigger store of fire ready logs.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been so wet, some of our woodstore has actually rotted.

I'm bringing them in to burn one-by-one to burn because I don't want the rot taking hold of the house!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad that I got some plastic pallets in for the floor of my woodstore and jacked the pallet walls off the ground using bricks so the whole lot is dry despite sitting in a puddle of runoff from our fields.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Driving up from the village just now I counted ten white tailed deer in a East facing field that was mostly bare grass ground. Still brown and frozen but they were nosing around in it looking for the first green shoots of grass. We need some rain and warm weather to get the grass up before the usual May first turn out date for grazing livestock. Some have been out all winter of course with feed dropped into the bunks every day. Those will range about like the deer as the snow departs but will meet the tractor every day when it brings in the next round bale.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Most of the heat in that situation is from gas fired radiant heaters. Not very safe with all that straw about, you would have thought, but it seems to be the standard. In a proper stock house you could achieve the same more efficiently and much safer by a wet underfloor heating system with separate controls for the creep area in each pen.

Most years, however, you wouldn't need to use such a house so you come down to the same economics again of how much do we spend in the UK to combat heavy snow that only occurs over most of the country every ten years or so. And, yes I know, there are some areas where it occurs every year but in these areas they are better prepared for it than us Southern Softies.


The farmer has now reviewed heating arrangements, and so on.
Most of the barn has been divided into small pens by means of concrete block walls about 2M high.
Each pen is enclosed on three sides, with a gate across the fourth side.
The walls will reduce draughts and therefore reduce fuel needed.

Infrared electric heaters are fitted over each pen, with the LPG heaters now only a standby in case of a power cut.
60 pens with 2KW of heating for each=120KW or about 160 amps 3 phase.

A staff area is equipped with heating, furniture, storage space, gas lights and electric light, running hot and cold water and a cooker.
(not for sleeping, porta huts are provided for seasonal staff)

With such splendid accommodation for lambing, the intention is to put the rams with the sheep a little earlier in the autumn and thus get a higher price for early lamb.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
Most of the heat in that situation is from gas fired radiant heaters. Not very safe with all that straw about, you would have thought, but it seems to be the standard. In a proper stock house you could achieve the same more efficiently and much safer by a wet underfloor heating system with separate controls for the creep area in each pen.

Most years, however, you wouldn't need to use such a house so you come down to the same economics again of how much do we spend in the UK to combat heavy snow that only occurs over most of the country every ten years or so. And, yes I know, there are some areas where it occurs every year but in these areas they are better prepared for it than us Southern Softies.


The farmer has now reviewed heating arrangements, and so on.
Most of the barn has been divided into small pens by means of concrete block walls about 2M high.
Each pen is enclosed on three sides, with a gate across the fourth side.
The walls will reduce draughts and therefore reduce fuel needed.

Infrared electric heaters are fitted over each pen, with the LPG heaters now only a standby in case of a power cut.
60 pens with 2KW of heating for each=120KW or about 160 amps 3 phase.

A staff area is equipped with heating, furniture, storage space, gas lights and electric light, running hot and cold water and a cooker.
(not for sleeping, porta huts are provided for seasonal staff)

With such splendid accommodation for lambing, the intention is to put the rams with the sheep a little earlier in the autumn and thus get a higher price for early lamb.
I can never get over people installing heat facing down when infloor moving up is the way it wants to go. I suppose the ease of the initial installation(and it's cost) overcomes the efficiency of the bottom up system.
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