Facility Feature
Superior Ag Institutes Strict Biosecurity Measures to Build New Feed Mill

Superior Ag’s new 150,000-tpy feed mill outside of Dale, IN replaces three other mills.

Company consolidates three mills down to one slipform concrete operation

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.

Biosecurity measures follow new regulations

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 amount of preparation each employee must undergo before entering the plant depends on the amount of potential contact with product. All employees enter through one door. The company provides clothing and shoes to wear in production areas. If they have had contact with livestock prior to their shift, employees must shower before entry.
  • Positive air pressure prevents dust from entering production areas.
  • Six employees were sent to classes and were certified to apply FSMA rules. One full-time quality control/safety specialist monitors everything.
  • Incoming ingredients must be tested and meet specifications prior to unloading. “If it fails, we will reject the entire load,” says Bender.
  • Ingredient trucks are disinfected when they come onto the property. The mill includes a separate lounge for truckers, so they don’t enter biosecure areas.

Slipform concrete mill includes warehouse

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.

Incoming ingredient truck is weighed on a B-TEK scale prior to delivery. Trucks are disinfected and contents tested before they can unload.

Company Profile: Superior Ag

  • Huntingburg, IN • 812-683-2809
  • Founded: 2007
  • Milling capacity: 150 tpy at one location
  • Feed products: Full line of mixes and complete feeds for multiple species
  • Annual sales: $200 million
  • Number of members: 3,000+
  • Number of employees: 178

Key personnel at Dale:

  • Barry Day, president/CEO
  • Tim Bender, Livestock Nutrition Division manager
  • Dan Hoffman, feed mill manager
  • Bart Schnur, safety and compliance manager
  • Tyler Kissel, maintenance manager
  • Mark Kluemper, operations manager

Suppliers

  • Air compressor • Ingersoll-Rand
  • Airlocks • Schenck Process LLC
  • Automation system • WEM Automation
  • Bag closer • Union Special
  • Bagging scales • Thiele Technologies
  • Bearing sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Bin level monitors • Bindicator, Boiler Ware Inc.
  • Bucket elevators • Intersystems
  • Contractor • WL Port-Land Systems Inc.
  • Conveyors • Intersystems
  • Distributor • Hayes & Stolz Ind. Mfg. Co. Inc.
  • Dust collection system • IAC
  • Elevator buckets • Maxi-Lift
  • Engineering • WL Port-Land Systems Inc.
  • Gates/diverters • Tom-Cin Metals Inc.
  • Liquid tanks • CP Metal Crafters Inc.
  • Manlift • Schumacher Elevator Co.
  • Mass flow meters • Micro Motion Inc.
  • Microingredient system • APEC
  • Mixer • Scott Equipment Co.
  • Motion sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Palletizing system • Symach
  • Pellet cooler • Geelan
  • Pellet crumbler • CPM Roskamp Champion
  • Pellet mill • CPM Roskamp Champion
  • Roller mill • CPM Roskamp Champion
  • Scales • Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Scalper Baasch & Sons Inc.
  • Screeners • BM&M Screening Solutions Ltd.
  • Screw conveyors • Conveyors Inc.
  • Steel storage • Sukup Mfg. Co.
  • Truck probe • Gamet Mfg. Inc.
  • Truck scale • B-TEK Scales LLC

Ed Zdrojewski, Editor

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL January/February 2019 Issue

Control room at the Dale feed mill. Operations are controlled by a WEM Automation system.

Company Directory

Equipment Directory