An all-concrete, totally computerized feedmill is being built for The Maschhoffs at Griggsville in western Illinois, reports Aaron Gaines, vice president of Production Resources & Operations for The Maschhoffs.
Work has actually begun on the new mill, which will be able to process 60 tons of feed in an hour and is capable of producing 400,000 tons of feed annually.
The mill will replace a 50-year-old, smaller feed manufacturing plant the family-owned hog operation owns at nearby Pittsfield, IL.
“We are trying to adopt the latest and greatest mill technologies with this mill to try to really position ourselves for the future and meet customers' demands,” Gaines explains.
The state-of-the-art swine-feed-only feedmill has a particular focus on process verification.
He observes: “A specific feature is a laser loading system that automatically loads the feed trucks, captures the loading weights, prints the tickets and then tracks and records all the feed that is put into a particular truck.”
That's possible because each feed truck will be equipped with an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag. A tag reader at the mill will read that tag as the truck enters the driveway at the mill to identify which feed to load, Gaines continues.
“Process verification for the customer is just another step in having safe feed and safe food that can hopefully provide value,” he says.
Unlike other Maschhoff mills at the company's home base in Carlyle, IL, and in Buckeye, IA, the new 1.5-million-bushel capacity mill will feature pellet capability. “The big driver for us is in improvement in carcass feed efficiency, and pelleting also just makes sense for us to capture the benefits of energy efficiency it offers,” Gaines explains.
This mill will “self-originate” or handle all its own corn procurement, which should create additional value-added programs for area crop producers and The Maschhoffs as hog producers.
The Griggsville mill is targeted for completion in about a year. “This mill definitely will create some economic viability to western Illinois and shows our sustainability and commitment to the area,” he reinforces.