Modern feed mills, such as Milne Feeds, are characterised by a high level of process automation, coupled with the latest environmental monitoring and control measures. Multi-skilled, highly trained workers are employed on rotating shifts to manufacture the feed according to strict OH&S and Quality Assurance procedures. The basic feed production processes, common to all feed mills, can be described simply as follows:
All feed ingredients are delivered by road. After weighing, all ingredients are sampled and checked for quality before unloading.
Feed Ingredient Storage
Delivered feed ingredients are stored in material holding bins, or silos. Low volume items such as minerals and vitamins are stored in smaller bulk containers, some being stored separately in bags in a controlled temperature environment.
Ingredients are automatically weighed according to the feed formulation.
All ingredients are ground to a consistent particle size.
Ingredients are mixed after grinding, in mixers holding several tonnes of material. Small quantities of ingredients such as vitamins and minerals are added at this stage.
Steam is added at the conditioning stage, which generates high temperatures. This is a form of cooking, which improves the digestibility of the feed and prepares it for the pelleting process.
The conditioned mash, in the form of a meal, is pressed through either a 4mm or 9mm die. This makes a short, cylindrical product, which is chopped to the required length by blades.
Cooling is necessary prior to storage to remove the heat generated during the conditioning and pelleting process.
Any residual dust is sieved from the feed. This helps to ensure high quality feed reaches the farmer with minimal dust.
The finished product is stored in bulk storage bins.
The finished product is packed in 25kg bags packed on pallets.
Bulk quantities of feed are loaded into bulk trucks.
The weighbridge must conform to legislated standards if being used to produce a delivery note and invoice.
Trucks are divided into compartments and may visit several farms to deliver feed by blowing into bulk bins. Bagged feed is delivered on a flat truck.
The mill process control system allows a high degree of automation and accuracy, ensuring that feed production is controlled to the highest standards, while still offering the farmer an economic feed solution.