Feed Center Design
Feed is your largest expense, manage it correctly.
On average, feed costs account for 50-60% of the total expenses on a dairy farm. By implementing a new feed center design and accurately monitoring inventory and labor, profits will increase.

How can feed center design impact efficiency and profits?

Feed center design is one of the critical components in minimizing shrink and maximizing labor efficiency. Dairies have seen a monthly savings of over $100,000 simply by making changes to control shrink through better management practices. Imagine what happens if you not only control expenses, but also maximizing efficiency and allow for more production!

A Real Life Example

A 4,500 cow dairy in the Midwest averaged a 6.5% shrink rate with a total average ingredient loss of 710 tons per month. This was a loss of almost $150,000 each month. By monitoring shrink and using feed center best practices:

  • They reduced shink to 2.01%
  • Their monthly total ingredient loss dropped to 226 tons
  • They saved $110,907 monthly
Feed Center Arial

Designing a Better Feed Center

By changing the design of the typical feed center, multiple efficiencies can be addresses such as:

  • Keeping highest volume ingredients closest to the loading area
  • Shortening travel distances
  • Adequately sized bays for the volume of feed
  • Allowing space for proper ingredient rotation (first in - first out)
  • Enclosed area to protect the ingredients from weather and other environmental factors
  • Ability to accommodate various types of delivery trucks to take advantage of high volume savings.
  • Flex bays for extra storage to take advantage of buying opportunities
  • Implement separate traffic patterns for on-farm traffic and feed center traffic

Along with the design of your feed center it it also important to take into consideration the daily protocols and practices going on inside your feed center. These practices make the difference in your ability to manage efficiencies.

Download a feed center design case study


Example of Shrink

Monitoring Your Feed Center

Making changes to your feed center layout and daily processes can make a huge difference in cutting shrink and saving money. But, in order to truly understand the cost of ingredients and the cost of feeding your cows, it is important to implement a monitoring system. This system should monitor several different variables like:

  • Load Time
  • Mixing Times
  • Accuracy, Consistency and Efficiency of your feeders
  • Timeliness of delivery
  • Delivery rations
  • Feed inventory
  • Shrink

And the list goes on.

Monitoring these variables on your dairy will allow you to pinpoint problem areas and measure the success of the different solutions that you implement.

Feeder Decisions with EZfeed

How Amelicor Helps

Amelicor’s EZfeed has powerful analytical capabilities that allows you to better maintain feed data, report on that data, and accurately evaluate the process. You will be able to provide accountability to your feeders by tracking feed decisions. You’ll be able to see changes and provide instant feedback on mixing performances. And, you’ll be able to evaluate areas that you are struggling in and make changes to them.

EZfeed helps you to evaluate your needs.

  • Track ingredient values and changes
  • Set ingredient reorder point and automatically flag the ingredient
  • Establish highly accurate rations
  • Provide accurate bunk adjustments
  • Control mixing pauses to maintain consistency
  • Monitor loading/unloading accuracy
  • Track feed decisions and changes by who, when, where and amount

Try it yourself

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