What's in a Master Plan (Part II): The "Buying In Bulk" Result

Generally, our society has been demanding results that are bigger, better and produced faster – this trend does not stop at the feed industry. Changes in transportation, storage and sanitation are contributing to a shift in design considerations and capabilities for large-scale feed mills. By addressing the benefits of these trends, facilities can develop a master plan to either immediately incorporate them or allow flexibility for future growth and business development.

Popular among the feed industry and extreme couponers everywhere, the “buying in bulk” strategy is becoming a popular cost saving measure when acquiring ingredients. As a result, it’s not surprising to find that, among larger feed mills, the average order of bulk ingredients (corn, soy bean meal and DDGS) has increased to roughly 90 tons at a time. Gathering and stock-piling all the ingredients requires facilities to support the larger bulk intake.

More and more facilities are including increased on-site storage capacity. Inside an existing mill tower, the typical storage capacity ranges from 25 to 100 tons. Larger feed mills and/or facilities intending to buy in bulk, plan for external storage options to fit their needs. These can take shape as either concrete silo or steel bin additions. As you formulate your facility’s master plan, take a moment to consider the ingredients in the process and how many tons per year of feed do you anticipate producing. When working with soy bean meal or similar ingredients, a specific type of silo unloader is needed for the ingredient transfer out of storage. The type of unloading equipment will depend on the selected storage structure. Additionally, the size and production rates of your facility will dictate the amount and type of storage needed for your feed mill.