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Shieldmains Mill

Shieldmains Mill, Ayr

Shieldmains Mill, Ayr

The initiative between farmer owned business, Mole Valley Farmers and John C Fergusson is moving forward with the launch of a new £7 million animal feed production facility in Coylton, Ayr.

This is the first newly equipped, intake-to-product animal feed mill to be built in Scotland for many years and represents Mole Valley Farmers’ and John C Fergusson’s commitment to  the ruminant livestock sector.

The site can produce in excess of 140,000 tonnes of blends and compounds a year. The mill will service a wide area across northern England to the central belt of Scotland. It will not only boost the local economy, but realise greater efficiencies in manufacturing and transport costs which will ultimately be passed back to farmers, said Mole Valley Farmers Head of Feed, Alan Callaghan.

Up until now, much of the feed utilised in south west Scotland has been produced south of the border and transported from as far as Cheshire. “As a farmer owned business, we have a strong sense of purpose - as was laid out over 55 years ago. Our presence creates a competitive environment for farm inputs, preventing other supply companies from profiteering,” he explained.

"Mole Valley Farmers do not maximise profits from the farming sector, especially when producers are facing economic challenges with falling milk, red meat and cereal prices. We believe the supply industry needs a strong farmer owned business, operating to true co-operative principles."

Longer term, and similar to the large European cooperatives, this model offers farmers more protection and greater supply chain influence.

“The construction of the Coylton feed mill by John Fergusson, coupled with the presence of Mole Valley Farmers has already caused a reaction, ruffling the cosy supply infrastructure across northern England and south west Scotland. Some feed producers are offering prices, reported to be unsustainable in the long term, aiming to protect market share. But with milk also at an unsustainable level, farmers are appreciating the current pricing environment,” he said.

As part of the new mill’s development, a full range of compounds and blends have also been specifically  formulated to meet the needs of the various farming systems throughout the region. The Mole Valley Farmers’ team of specialist nutritionists can formulate feed rations that meet the nutritional requirements of the cow whilst maintaining health and performance.

“This is the most efficient and low cost mill within Mole Valley Farmers. We are looking to minimise production complexities and maximise production runs” Alan said.

The mill includes the first two PTN Progress 1000 presses in the UK. John Fergusson, Managing Director of J C Fergusson - serving farmers in south west Scotland for over 20 years – said this automated feed manufacturing system would help meet increasing demand for pelleted and blended feeds.

“Auto control systems are the future of animals feeds….each press is capable of producing up to 18 tonnes per hour of finished 6mm pellets,” he explained.

The mill uses flat storage for raw materials and finished product, with a 4,000 tonne open storage capacity.

The mill is 40 minutes from Glasgow port meaning large stocks of raw materials can be transported. Grain can also be sourced locally and from the central belt of Scotland, while quality byproducts can be obtained from Scottish distilleries. Ayr port can also be utilised.

An intake system can also transport raw materials at a rate up to 80 tonnes per hour to 16 bins, with a total storage capacity of over 500 tonnes. The line has been designed to process finished molassed blends and meals. Other agricultural inputs such as calf milk, supplements and minerals can be sourced from Mole Valley Farmers. The aim is to develop supply infrastructure across a wide range of farm inputs such as animal health, fencing, silage plastics, and more.

“Cost reduction, the handling and delivery expertise at J C Fergusson and the marketing and nutritional capability of Mole Valley Farmers, will ultimately mean savings for our progressive farming customers,” said John.



Source Details

Graham Watson,  Head of Agricultural Procurement, Risk Management and Operations

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