Features & Benefits
Ready-mixed concrete provides many benefits for farms, including:
• Versatility – concrete can be adapted to a variety of building needs, such as hog and cattle confinement, poultry housing, and machinery-grain storage.
• Durability – concrete resists damage by livestock, rodents, machinery, wind, and chemicals.
• Fire Resistance – concrete will help prevent and contain fires and are resistant to the heat produced by fires.
• Energy Conservation – concrete conserves energy by acting like a shock absorber, absorbing or releasing heat. This cushions the effect of changes in the outside temperature, and therefore assists the insulation in controlling heat loss or gain.
• Disease Control – concrete aids in disease control because of easy cleaning and assistance with rodent control.
• Economy – concrete is low in initial cost and because of the long life and low maintenance characteristic of concrete, the life cycle costs are extremely low.
During construction, the environmental benefits of concrete include:
• Waste Minimization – ready-mixed concrete is ordered and placed as needed and does not require cutting or trimming during or after installation. Leftover concrete can be returned to the ready-mix plant and be recycled, or used to make plant-cast concrete barriers or retaining wall blocks.
• Local – materials for ready-mixed concrete are extracted and manufactured locally, minimizing transportation-related energy use and the pollution associated with materials imported from far away.
• Recycled Content – fly ash is often used in agricultural concrete mixes because it enhances the placing and finishing characteristics of concrete in its unhardened state (and contributes to the durability of the hardened concrete).
During the life of the farm structure or infrastructure, the environmental benefits of concrete include:
• Thermal mass – ready-mixed concrete’s thermal mass improves energy performance, when properly insulated.
• Durability – structures built with ready-mixed concrete stand up to wind, rain, wind-blown debris, moisture, vehicle/machine damage, and vermin better than competing structural materials. Less need for replacement means reduced resource equirements, over the life of the structure. In most horizontal agricultural applications, ready-mixed concrete is a lifetime investment.
• Cooler/Brighter – the light-reflective nature of ready-mixed concrete minimizes the heat-island effect of exposed horizontal surfaces. Concrete pavement’s brighter reflectance lowers energy use for lighting and reduces lighting expenses while improving visibility and safety.
• Low Emitting – ready-mixed concrete has very low VOC emissions and does not degrade barn or milk parlor air quality.
• Recycleable – When ready-mixed concrete finally reaches the end of its useful service life, it can be recycled into project fill, subbase, and road-base materials.
Farmers understand the importance of clean land and water. Usable resources such as this are critical for any agricultural application. Farms can be a source of water pollution. Rain may wash animal wastes into streams, lakes, or other waterways. The nutrients, organic matter, and bacteria that reach the open water can cause fish kills and excessive weed and algae growth, creating a significant health hazard. With a well designed barn, feedlot, and grounds made of concrete, runoff will be controlled. This will save the natural by-products for its proper use and helps control pollution. Concrete will also help prevent erosion.
Farmers in the Dairyland State have relied on concrete for years. No other construction material provides the health benefits for livestock, assists with environmental concerns and helps farmers enjoy a greater return on their investment. Concrete, the right choice.
Successful Farming Team
Your local ready mixed concrete producer is an important part of the successful farming team. In addition to providing a quality product, the producer has the expertise to ensure the proper mix design and placement for your project. Contact the Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association for more information on concrete applications for the farm and for a listing of WRMCA ready mixed producers.