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Stray voltage, which can be a concern among dairy and other livestock farmers, is associated with on-farm wiring and electrical connections to the local electric distribution system. Questions and concerns about stray voltage are best addressed by the electric distribution utility that serves the farm directly (the utility the farm receives a bill from each month).
The term “stray voltage” is used to describe a special case of voltage developed on the grounded neutral system of a farm. If this voltage reaches sufficient levels, animals coming into contact with grounded devices may experience a small shock or tingle. When this occurs on a dairy farm the dairy cow may become stressed which can result in behavior changes. These changes in behavior can affect the cow’s health and the cow may begin to produce less milk.
There are a number of things can lead to stray voltage problems. They include:
If you have questions or concerns about stray voltage, first contact the utility you pay each month for electricity. Utilities can offer on-site investigations and can recommend steps to correct stray voltage problems. Other resources include Midwest Rural Energy Council (call 608-262-5062) and the Wisconsin Rural Electric Power Services program (call 608-224-5055).
Power lines seldom interfere with radio or television reception or with Internet service, cell phones or Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Most interference is caused by appliances and equipment within the home as well as faulty receivers. Attempting to tune in a weak, distant station makes any interference more noticeable. Sometimes an improper connection on the power line can cause interference. If power line interference does occur, qualified personnel will investigate and solve the problem at Great River Energy’s expense. Because the conversion to digital television is very recent, no data are available at this time to assess the effects of transmission lines on digital service.