Family-owned feed manufacturer Massey Feeds has opened a new blends plant at its Holmes Mill headquarters site at Cranage in Cheshire. The facility, officially opened by NFU president Meurig Raymond last week, has an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes.
The new system is designed on similar principles to the blending plant at Harpers Feeds in Devon, the business acquired by Masseys four years ago. It incorporates compound feed-style measuring, weighing and mixing machinery, with all the feed materials stored in bins, rather than on the floor, to avoid contamination. In addition, all ingredients are screened for metals before entering the process.
“The challenge with blended feeds is ensuring all ingredients are included in the correct proportions and then remain well mixed during delivery and subsequent handling of the feed on the farm,” explains Massey Feeds sales director Phil Stirk. “Our new facility has been developed to ensure accurate, consistent mixes.
“All ingredients are analysed as they come off the weighbridge to allow precise formulation of the mix. Farmers can select from our standard Harvest Mixes range or specify a bespoke mix. We use a dual-mixing process which allows ingredients to be accurately distributed within the eventual mix. Together these factors mean that the separation between ground and pelleted materials, commonly seen on farm, is eliminated.
“The final and crucial big enhancement is the accuracy of weighing. All ingredients are weighed into the mixer using a computerised weighing system which ensures an accuracy of +/- 0.1%, compared to a variance of up to 10% which is often seen with systems which rely on weighing ingredients using a less sophisticated approach. This is even more important when trace ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, fats and yeast are being added, since accuracy has a big impact on performance and cost. The outcome is a precisely formulated, consistent mix that is balanced to meet the animals’ requirements and to complement forages,” states Mr Stirk.
As the company’s blended mixes and compound feeds are manufactured on the same site, farmer customers can order split loads for a single delivery, so maximising bulk discounts and reducing vehicles arriving on farm.
“Livestock farmers are facing challenging times,” explains Massey Feeds managing director Kynan Massey. “As feed is the major cost for our customers, we are committed to investing to create a range of feeds that helps farmers meet these challenges.”
“Massey Feeds has grown steadily and consistently based on our goal to evolve our product range to continually meet farmers’ changing needs. In recent years we have seen increased demand for blended feeds. This latest investment will allow us to provide farmers with the most accurately mixed and consistently presented blended feeds available in the region,” he continues.
“As a business we are focused on nutrition. For a smaller feed business in a sector increasingly dominated by large national concerns, we have an impressive track record in giving farmers something different. We are a family business with strong local roots and committed to staying close to the local community, whether our staff or customers. Our latest investment is testament to this philosophy,” Mr Massey concludes.