Ed Reed has a good name in the pork industry, especially in Michigan. Hailing from a beautiful little place on the western side of the Big Mitten called Marcellus, Ed left the life of a pulp-and-paper professional to begin raising pigs farrow-to-finish in a venture he says has been like having one long start-up business.
Part of his feeling of being in a start-up probably comes from his willingness to innovate and try new products. He has had his fingers in a lot of pies - including serving as president of the Michigan Pork Growers' Association, a board member of GreenStone Farm Credit and working tirelessly to promote sustainable practices among pork operations in his jurisdiction.
One of the new products tested at Reed Family Farms recently was Agri-Rok.
The Achilles heel of any swine barn - farrow, gilt, gestation or finish - tends to be the concrete areas around and below feed/water supplies. Between the liquid feed, the particularly acidic quality of pig waste and the pigs' tendency to root at everything, you have a unique challenge when it come to keeping up with pig house floor repairs. Finding a product that would work well for ongoing small repairs as well as new construction without creating a long downtime is quite a boon. And as a bonus, finding one that a single handyman can put down by himself is particularly useful.
After using it in a variety of small repairs beginning in 2013, Ed commented, "We have found Agri-Rok to be a cutting edge hard rock concrete solution for multiple uses to include finishing barn floors, gestation barns, troughs, etc. A quick and economical installation which is easy to feather."
One of the biggest benefits, he says, has been Agri-Rok's staying power. Pigs are frustratingly efficient at rooting up all manner of coatings, sealers and overlays, making it tough to keep a good barrier protection on the concrete. They can even chip bonded epoxy right off the floor within a year or two. But they've met their match when it comes to Agri-Rok. Ed is pleased to note the pigs haven't succeeded in damaging the Agri-Rok surface despite their best efforts.
A snout-resistant concrete overlay. Who knew?