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NEW feed mill set for June start

By Staff | May 14, 2010

NEW Feeds LLC's fifth feed mill in the region, in Lidderdale, is finishing construction with a start-up date targeted for June.

LIDDERDALE – NEW Feeds LLC is near to opening its fifth feed mill in June. Elwyn Bruhl, general manager for NEW Feeds, described last week to members of the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce’s Ag Committee about the technology that goes into mixing and maintaining 21st century top-quality feeds for the livestock industry.

New Feeds was formed in 1998 as a joint venture between NEW Coop and Land O’ Lakes and currently has feed mills located in Bode, Duncombe, Palmer and Glidden, with its newest facility scheduled to open next month in Lidderdale.

According to Bruhl, when New Feeds was formed,the company had approximately 300 customers with an annual production of 100,000 tons of feed.

In 2009, he said the company currently serves 49 customers and mixes 523,000 ton of feed. The company is expecting to be at full capacity this year and it is projecting to market 570,000 tons of feed.

“Our maximum capacity is 560,000 ton a year and we will hit that for sure this year,” said Bruhl.

Out of the 49 customers, Bruhl said, four represent 89 percent of New Feeds’ business volume.

Bruhl spoke on how smaller feed mills are becoming a thing of the past due to the constant evolution in the feed and livestock industry. Some of those smaller mills, he said, do not have the cash available to invest in their facilities to comply with their customer’s ever-expanding and specific needs and are going out of business.

“The quality of mills with the ability to keep up with demand of the commercial producer is not there,” he said.

Bruhl is quick to point out that NEW Feeds is more than just a group of feed mills providing feed.

“We don’t just sell feed, we sell a service,” he said. “The feed is another tool to market corn and allows us to diversify corn sales into another avenue.”

NEW Feeds’ mills will use 12 million bushels of corn annually, in addition to a variety of other ingredients.

All of the mills are connected to the elevator, giving quick conveyor access to the feed mill. Each batch is mixed and controlled by computers.

“It’s pretty amazing and we would enjoy having people come out and see what technology we use,” said Bruhl.

One significant change in the feed industry over the years, Bruhl said, is that feed is now mixed to nutrient recommendations, rather than the cooperative helping to make those recommendations.

The quality of the feed processed, Bruhl said, is constantly being monitored and graded by not only the employees at NEW Feeds, but by their customers as well. Samples of feed are retained for six months for traceability reasons.

To further ensure its feeds are at top quality, a mini-lab has been set up at its Duncombe location.

Bruhl said that one of its larger customers, Sparboe Farms, supplies eggs to every McDonalds restaurant west of the Mississippi River. That is just one example as to why NEW Feeds has to ensure delivering the highest quality of feed possible, he emphasized.

Bruhl predicts that more hogs and layer facilities will continue to move into the Midwest, which will be good for producers’ corn supply, as well as fertilizer sources.

“As the world protein needs continue to grow, we will need to maintain in order to keep up with that demand,” said Bruhl.

Some exciting news, Bruhl shared with the group, is the upcoming opening of a new feed mill in Lidderdale.

The new mill is expected to be completed by June 1 and should be at full capacity in just six months.

This state-of-the-art feed mill will have a capacity of 200,000 tons of feed annually and will employ four to five employees.

“The most advanced computer-automated batching systems will be used,” Bruhl said, “which will make the new feed mill 15- to 20-percent more efficient.

“There are many feed opportunities in that area,” Bruhl added. “Livestock is very well accepted in the Carroll County area.”

An open house to showcase the new Lidderdale feed mill is scheduled for May 27.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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