After several years of steady growth in feed manufacturing and the size of the operations that River Valley Cooperative services we have come to a crossroads, build new or reinvest in our older feed mills? This fiscal year River Valley Cooperative will manufacture a short 300,000 tons of complete feeds and growing. Feeds being manufactured are primarily swine and turkey diets, out of our 4 feed mills located at Eldridge, Olin Stockton Iowa and at Galva Illinois.
While we have been able to successfully grow our feed business operating out of the feed mills that we currently operate they are showing their age as they were constructed from the mid 1950’s to the early 1970’s. Feed manufacturing and livestock production has gone through very significant changes over the past 50 to 60 years since the current mills were designed. In order for us to remain a significant feed manufacturer in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois River Valley Cooperative management proposed and the board of directors has voted to move forward with the construction of a new state of the art feed mill At Sunbury, Iowa.
After taking into consideration all of the factors involved in the placement of a new feed mill project Sunbury became the selected site. Some of the key considerations were the footprint of the current feed customers and future growth, existing grain infrastructure, grain sourcing, incoming ingredients and all transportation considerations.
River Valley Cooperative has employed Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. of Hubbard, IA to design and oversee the construction as the project manager and is in the process of letting bids on the project. Plans are to begin construction of the new facility in May and will take approximately a year to complete the project. During the construction phase RVC will continue operating as we have in the past while focusing on continued growth for the feed business.
The new feed mill design will allow the manufacture of 60 tons per hour and will be operated initially in a double 8 hour shift 5 days per week for a total annual tonnage of over 225,000 tons. The feed mill is being designed to allow the addition of pelleting in the future but initially will manufacture rolled feeds that we are currently manufacturing.
There will be an average of 40 semi loads of complete feed manufactured each day that will use approximately 6.7 million bushels of corn annually through the new facility. The total cost of the new project will be $5.5 million and is the largest construction project that we have undertaken to date. After the completion of the project RVC will right size the number of feed mills operated in the company.