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Question about Factory Production

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Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
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About fifteteen years ago there were many articles explaining the economic advantage of double decking poultry and hogs in confinement facilities. Does anyone know if this is practised in the US? With all the talk of feeding chicken litter to cattle I wonder how many times the litter has been recycled. Also seems to me like some poultry and pork tastes like a confinement barn smells. Didn't really think about it until we had a neighbor's chicken for diner the other night and couldn't help but notice the clean fresh taste. Could this be why Walmart has to add flavoring solutions to it's chicken?

Alanna Mitchell

The plan had hardly come off the Dutch drawing table before it was,
according to this story, dubbed the "trotter towers" in other parts of
Europe. Not to mention "pigs in skyscrapers."
The story says that the so-called Deltapark, from some of the best minds in
the Netherlands, poses the idea of building a high-rise megafarm in
Rotterdam that would house 300,000 pigs, 1.2 million chickens, thousands of
fish and a vast garden under the same roof.
The aim is to make a farming complex where the wastes from one endeavour are
used as fuel for the one next door. So the body heat and gases from pigs
would warm up greenhouses for the vegetables. The extra plant material from
the greenhouses would feed the pigs. The pig manure, processed and
concentrated, would enrich the soil for plants.
And down below would lie a slaughterhouse, where the pigs and chickens would
eventually meet their fate, close enough to Rotterdam's ports to make short
work of the transportation of the meat. Even the fat rendered from the
slaughterhouse floor would be used for energy.
Ecologically speaking, it would be a closed loop, with little going to
Jan Broeze, an applied mathematician at the Agrotechnology Research
Institute in Wageningen and one of the brains behind Deltapark, was quoted
as saying, "We wanted to start a discussion in society."
The story says that the plan has not only been mocked, but also praised and
reviled in a debate that has galvanized Dutch society to examine some of its
most prized values. And as Canada's farmers struggle through yet another
grim fall and winter and wrestle over how to make farming more efficient,
the Dutch debate could hold fascinating lessons.
The story goes on to say there is a fierce Dutch pride in the quality of the
food produced in The Netherlands. The Dutch insist on the best and are drawn
to organic farming.
Yet there were so many pigs in The Netherlands a few years ago -- 16
million, outnumbering the humans -- that the country got into trouble with
the European Union for producing too much environmentally dangerous manure.
Soil quality and water quality were being affected. Recently, the number of
pigs has been cut down to 12 million, in a nod to the EU guidelines.
One of the problems Dr. Broeze saw immediately was that while pigs lived on
farms, the feed they needed did not, and had to be trucked in. Then the
fattened animals had to be trucked to a slaughterhouse. And the meat then
had to be trucked to market.
To Canadians, the distances to truck anywhere in The Netherlands may seem
small. But Dr. Broeze pointed out that paying for drivers and fuel ends up
being a significant cost to pig farmers, and sends carbon dioxide and other
pollutants into the atmosphere.
What if the transportation of animals could be abolished?
What if rural lands could bear less burden from farming? What if the the
postwar ideal of the mixed farm could return, a reverse of the trend toward
specialized farms?
That's when the idea of the Deltapark complex was born. Dr. Broeze's team
started with the idea of having enough animals in one place to make full use
of a slaughterhouse. That gave them the immense scale of the project: It
would be a kilometre long and nearly half a kilometre wide, six storeys high
and contain roughly 200 hectares agricultural space. The whole project would
produce organic food and be set beside the biggest port in Europe.
Dr. Broeze was quoted as saying, "In principle, you do not need land for pig
keeping, only for the deposit of manure."
The plan calls for processing of the manure inside the complex, making it
more concentrated, to improve its quality. That kind of technology is
cheaper to build big in one place than small on farms all over The
Netherlands. The complex would also boast wind turbines on top to produce
whatever energy the pigs don't.
Dr. Broeze reckons that the pigs would actually have more space in trotter
towers than they would on a traditional farm. As well, atmospheric pollution
now emitted when heating up traditional greenhouses could be dramatically
The story says that it's a far cry from the Canadian urge to use more
chemicals and drugs to improve farming efficiency. And while transportation
distances are immense in Canada, the government's response has been to
remove transportation subsidies for grain and other products.
In the Netherlands, the instant reaction to Deltapark was negative. The
Dutch are used to thinking of their food grown carefully in the countryside
by loving farmers. Deltapark seemed too much like the factory farms and
other industrial agriculture they shudder at in North America.

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