Author Topic: no wonder rates are so high  (Read 1133 times)

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Offline zeker

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no wonder rates are so high
« on: July 03, 2015, 05:48:53 AM »
Uncontrolled electricity wreaking havoc for Thamesville-area dairy producer    0By Diana Martin, Chatham Daily News                                   
                           Thursday, July 2, 2015                  6:55:53 EDT PM   Patrick Herbert, a Florence area dairy farmer, has lost an entire herd of cows over a seven year period due to uncontrolled electricity flowing across his farm. Photo taken in Florence, Ont. on Tuesday June 16, 2015. (Diana Martin, The Daily News)Patrick Herbert, a Florence area dairy farmer, has lost an entire herd of cows over a seven year period due to uncontrolled electricity flowing across his farm. Photo taken in Florence, Ont. on Tuesday June 16, 2015. (Diana Martin, The Daily News)
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    PrintReport an error <ins><ins><ins></ins></ins></ins> Patrick Herbert flips through photo after photo of his cows with burn marks, jutting bones, aborted calves and undergoing autopsies.
    “It wasn't just suddenly,” Herbert said. “Now you look back and we had a lot of dead cows and we thought it was just shit happening.”
    The Thamesville-area farmer has replaced his entire 30 head of Holsteins once over since 2008, and is a third of the way to replacing them again.
    In the dairy business since 1920, the Herbert family acquired 25 years worth of milk awards until 2008 when Patrick Herbert’s cattle started encountering high somatic cell counts, unusually high incidents of mastitis, aborted calves and issues with their breeding program.
    “After you start into this, you get all these vet bills and the vet says there's nothing wrong with the cow. Maybe it's feed,” said Herbert. “So we've gone through three feed companies, feed samples out the wazoo. We spent money on all kinds of miracle feeds that won't do nothing, they just die.”
    That's when the light bulb went off – stray voltage. The same issue that plagued former Dover Township farmer Lee Montgomery for decades might be the issue.
    Herbert called in an electrician to go through his barn. It came out clean. He called out Hydro One and had them take voltage measurements. They said he didn't have an issue, but he installed a Dairyland isolator in hopes it would fix the issue.
    Still the cows died.
    “Hydro One is losing current,” said Herbert. “It ain't coming in on the wires, it's coming through mother earth and playing in the barn. It's the current that's killing my cows.”
    Ontario uses a multi-grounded neutral system which sees current dumped into the earth used as a ground instead of sending the current back through the neutral wire to return it to the substation.
    “We're dealing with a monster here and in some farms it's just crippled them,” said Lorne Lantz, a member of the Uncontrolled Electricity Agriculture Working Group.
    Lantz has dealt with upwards of 200 farmers having issues of uncontrolled electricity, from eastern Ontario, Southwestern Ontario and as far north as New Liskeard.
    “It's pretty much everywhere,” said Lantz. “There are a lot of farmers who've taken precautions to eliminate this. Some have even gone to the extent of putting in isolation transformers so they totally isolate themselves from Hydro One.
    “(Dairyland) blockers are the most common. But then you get a farm like Allan Herb or Lee (Montgomery), and Patrick Herbert. They've got a blocker in but there's still something going on.”
    Herbert said his barn management skills were questioned when he approached the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. The vet’s analysis of the live cows came back with the same results – SBI – something bad inside.
    “I'll just show you a list of the dead cows – dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead,” Herbert said, his finger jabbing down the line. “Breeding wasn't going sufficiently, there were 10 cows that calved between Christmas and New Years 2012-2013 and five of them were dead in a couple of months.”
    Herbert watched years of breeding slip through his fingers. Between Jan. 12, 2013 and Jan. 10, 2014 he lost a third of his herd.
    It didn't matter if it was winter when the cows were in the barn full-time, or the summer when they came in for an hour in the morning and the evening to be milked. They would calve-out and slowly stop eating.
    The somatic cell counts kept rising, Herbert’s milk production dropped and his milk quote wasn’t being filled.
    “I used to be in the top three in Kent County of milk production, Now there's eight of us left here in Chatham-Kent and I can't make the top 10. It's pathetic,” said Herbert. “You think you get a good cow and it dies. What do you do? Start over again.”
    Herbert contacted Lantz, who is well known within livestock circles for his ability to detect stray voltage and uncontrolled electricity.
    Lantz suggested Herbert install a shield around his barn to collect the current and send it around the facility and out the other end.
    In June Herbert dug a five-foot deep trench and buried several large metal grain bin sheets bolted together and strung with copper wire around one side of his barn, and one out the back. He connected the two areas with a copper wire, allowing the captured current to travel around the front of the facility and out the back without going through the milking barn.
    “That shield is picking up 60 cycle AC current that's in the earth and taking it around his barn,” said Lantz. “Not all electricity is on the wire as you may think it is, as much as 60 to 70 per cent of the current is in the ground.”
    Lantz has been installing this system for farmers since 2010 and is documenting the amount of current flowing through them as well as the impact on the livestock over a period of years.
    Herbert said it's too early to tell if the shield is working. He hopes it's enough to save the cows he has now,
    “If these cows are half-fried I need fresh cows. It ain't like flipping a switch, it's not gonna change over night,” he said, adding the only thing he wants to do is milk cows and be happy. “We can’t go on much farther. We're getting to the end of the rope if this don't fix it.”
     
    diana.martin@sunmedia.ca
    of all the things I,ve lost.. I miss my mind, the most

    Offline icrcc

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    Re: no wonder rates are so high
    « Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 09:20:43 AM »
    Did the cows develop electric personalities?
    It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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    Offline fleetway

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    Re: no wonder rates are so high
    « Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 10:03:14 AM »
    Nope, just magnetic personalities. A bit of animal magnetism.