Efficiency is essential to increasing revenue and maximizing profits, especially for feed and animal producers. Feed constitutes anywhere from 60-70% of animal production costs, and as a result, feed efficiency and feed mill efficiency significantly impact product yield and profit margins. Efficiently producing animals requires optimized feed production and utilization.
Feed Mill Efficiency is Key to Optimizing Feed Production and Utilization
Feed efficiency and feed mill efficiency are critical to capitalizing on total feed value. Feed milling efficiency is a measure of process optimization.
In other words:
- Are you losing valuable feed ingredients throughout the production process?
- Does your mill expend an exorbitant amount of energy?
- Is production yield limited by your mill’s operating capacity?
Process loss in feed production is very real and impacts all feed producers in one way or another.
On average, feed producers experience a 0.8% process loss annually, primarily due to difficulties managing moisture resulting in lower mill profitability, increased feed costs, reduced feed production, off-target diets and growth limitations on animals in live production. In addition, moisture impacts feed value, nutrient distribution, mill inventory management and sustainability efforts.
Optimizing and effectively managing mill throughput allows producers to run mills efficiently at the desired capacity without increasing fixed costs per ton produced or restricting animal production capacity.
It is imperative to feed efficiency that solutions implemented to improve feed mill efficiency protect and enhance feed quality. Not every strategy to improve throughput or manage moisture improves the physical form of feed. Poor pellet durability and a high percentage of feed fines result in a loss of feed value through feed wastage and nutrient segregation within live production.
How Does Feed Mill Efficiency Impact Live Production?
Poor pellet quality leads to increased production of feed fines, resulting in an uneven distribution of essential formulation nutrients. Poor feed quality, inability to meet demand and over-formulation of diets cost animal producers through reduced animal performance, a decline in feed value, reliance on toll mills and increased feed costs.
Feed fines reduce feed efficiency and have been observed repeatedly throughout the body of literature.
In swine, studies have shown that decreasing feed fines improved feed efficiency.
- Fines reduction from 37% to 3% in grower pig feed led to a 0.09-point improvement in FCR.
- A 0.17-point improvement in FCR resulted from a study decreasing fines from 60% to 0% in finisher feed.
- Finishing pigs fed a diet consisting of 50% fines had an FCR of 2.67, whereas pigs fed the same diet with no fines had an FCR of 2.55.
In broilers, evidence supports that improved physical feed quality maximizes FCR, reduces mortality, improves animal yields and helps manage excess feed costs.
- Feed conversion is negatively impacted by poor pellet quality and high fines. When a diet consists of +40% fines, producers lose between 3 and 6 points of FCR. Under these circumstances, achieving the target bird weight requires an additional feed supply, ultimately adding cost.
- Better pellet quality can lead to increased bird gains and reduced mortality. One study found that an extra 58 grams per bird and a 44% reduction in mortality in a million-bird flock equated to an additional $134,000 of value.
- High fine diets have been found to reduce access to essential nutrients, leading to a loss of almost 49 grams per bird.
Implementing solutions that support feed mill efficiency safeguards feed quality and value. Effective feed mill efficiency programs enable feed millers to efficiently produce more, higher quality feed and address hard-to-tackle moisture management, process loss and throughput challenges.
Maxi-Mil, a feed mill efficiency solution, grants mill managers control over feed milling operations while balancing competing demands of throughput, shrink and pellet quality. Mills operating with Maxi-Mil run more efficiently and produce better quality pellets with less inventory loss while demanding less energy.
Producers ready to take control of feed mill efficiency and produce more, higher quality feed should access our guide to pellet quality.