Improvements in home milling and mixing could save pig farmers more than 40% on energy bills, increase mill throughput and improve feed quality, a Scottish survey has shown.
A survey of 56 pig units by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) into the efficient use of energy in pig feed production found changes such as switching to night-time production could reduce feed costs by 38% or £3,000 for every 100,000 units used.
Jamie Robertson (pictured), independent consultant, offers some practical tips on how to improve efficiency and save costs when home milling and mixing.
- Switching to night-time production could reduce feed milling costs by 38%.
- There is 3.2p/unit difference in daytime tariff rates on units consuming more than 100,000 units a year.
- This is worth more than £3,000 for each 100,000 units used.
- Be aware of your contract end dates, as 7-8p/unit charges will revert to standard tariffs of between 10-12p/unit.
- Switching to a larger-diameter screen size will take less power to push grain through.
- A 6mm screen size reduced the power needed to mill 1t of feed by 17% to 9.1kWh/t (average 11kWh/t).
- The 6mm screen size also required 15% less power to produce 1t of feed at 13.1kWh/t compared with the average of 15.3kWh/t.
Hammer and screen replacement
- Stick to a regular maintenance schedule and replace hammers and screen regularly.
- Energy consumption decreased by 3% after replacement of parts, from 91kWh/kg to 88kWh/kg of food produced.
- Milling time increased by 2 minutes, but the quantity of food milled a minute increased by 5%, from 15.4kg to 16.2kg.
Food particle size
- Regular machinery maintenance resulted in more consistent distribution of feed particle size and fewer large particles, improving feed digestion.
- The percentage of 2,000mm particles decreased by 3% with new hammers.
- Voltage can be reduced in areas where it is higher than necessary, for example, lighting.
- Savings of 10% are possible, but will require changes to electrical components.