Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas L. Richard


Fossil fuel use in agriculture is an increasingly important topic of concern. Iowa is the largest swine producing state in the United States. A systems analysis was performed to evaluate energy use in deep bedded hoop and confinement swine finishing systems for typical Iowa conditions. Energy use for feed production, facility operation, bedding production, manure application, and swine management were analyzed and the use of on-farm versus off- farm feed processing was compared. Energy for feed required 68 to 82% of the overall energy use. The hoop system required an average of 3.6% less overall energy and 47% less non-feed energy than the confinement system. On-farm feed processing reduced the overall energy an average of 9.5% when compared to off-farm feed processing. 774 MJ of non-solar energy was required to produce 104.5 kg of gain for a pig raised in a deep bedded hoop system with on-farm feed processing while 879 MJ was required in a confinement system with off-farm feed processing. Development of low external input integrated cropping and swine production systems will be key to reducing energy use in swine finishing systems.


Copyright Owner

John C. Gilbert



Date Available


File Format


File Size

118 pages