Superior Ag’s new 150,000-tpy feed mill outside of Dale, IN replaces three other mills.
Dale, IN — When four southwest Indiana cooperatives merged in 2007 to form Superior Ag, the facilities that were part of the deal included three feed mills, at St. Meinrad, Princeton, and Jasper.
None of those mills are operational now. Instead, Superior Ag has replaced them with a 150,000-tpy slipform concrete mill near Dale, IN (812-482-6445). The mill is located near the U.S. Highway 231 exit from I-64, a location that provides easy access from major highways but is somewhat isolated from residences and other businesses, says Tim Bender, manager of the coop’s Livestock Nutrition Division. (Bender is a 23-year veteran with Superior Ag.)
Construction on the mill got underway at the start of 2017, and it began producing feed in June 2018. The contractor and engineer on the mill was WL Port-Land Systems, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (412-344-1408).
“We looked at some engineering-oriented firms, and we liked what we saw with WL Port-Land,” says Bender.
One major concern with the new mill was compliance with the stringent new regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), says Bender. To make sure those regulations are met, Superior Ag and WL Port-Land Systems planned for operations under strict biosecurity rules normally found only in certain specialty mills.
Among those measures:
The slipform concrete mill tower stands 142 feet high on a 74-foot-x-37-foot footprint. The structure also includes a 15,000-square-foot, single-story warehouse.
The tower includes 30 ingredient bins holding an average of 834 tons of material total, four 24-ton mash bins for feed awaiting pelleting, and eight 30-ton loadout bins over the mill’s single Sukup enclosed loadout bay. (In all, Sukup supplied nine pre-engineered metal buildings on site covering 28,171 square feet, including the warehouse, liquid tank enclosure, annex structure, receiving building, loadout structures, and pit enclosure.)
Adjacent to the mill tower are a pair of 35,000-bushel Sukup corrugated steel hopper tanks for corn storage. Prior to entering the mill, corn is ground on a 1,500-bph Roskamp triple-stack roller mill.
All mill operations are under the control of a WEM Automation system.
Those operations begin with the arrival of ingredient trucks, which are sampled with a Gamet Apollo truck probe and weighed on a 70-foot B-TEK inbound-outbound scale.
After ingredients are assigned to their respective bins, they are mixed in a Scott 3-ton double-ribbon, drop-bottom mixer. With an average three-minute mix time, the mixer averages 60 tph. Minor ingredients are added at the scale from a 24-bin APEC microingredient system.
A 100-hp Victory Energy boiler supplies steam to operate a 9-tph CPM pellet mill. From there, pellets are cooled in a Geelan counterflow cooler, and feed for young poultry is sent to a CPM pellet crumbler.
About 35-40% of the mill’s output is bagged on a Thiele Technologies bagging system. Filled and sealed bags are stacked with a Symach stacker before being transferred to trucks at four loadout docks.
Bulk feed from the overhead loadout bins are loaded onto the facility’s six feed trucks in an average of 12 minutes.
Ed Zdrojewski, Editor
Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL January/February 2019 Issue