South west Scotland rural economy set to benefit from new feed mill

Work is well underway on a state-of-the-art compound feed mill at Coylton, Ayrshire, which is set to add a significant boost to South West Scotland’s rural economy when it opens fully at the start of 2015.

Earlier this year, J C Fergusson and Mole Valley Farmers announced the join investment in the innovative mill which will have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes of compound and blended feed. The venture will not only create a wealth of job opportunities, but allow Scottish farmers to make the most of the cost benefits of having a feed-mill right on their doorsteps.

Mole Valley Farmers head of agriculture, Keith Ockenden says the cost and environmental benefits of having the mill in the heart of a key Scottish livestock farming area are marked.

“At present, only 30% of the total volume of feed fed in Scotland is produced in Scotland. About 200,000 tonnes of feed are shipped up from England every year. With an extra transport cost of about £13/tonne, that equates to about £2.6million. Some of this can be saved through having local production,” he says.

Some of these savings will be passed back to the farmer, which fits with Mole Valley Farmers’ aims as a farmer owned business. This, coupled with investment in the latest, efficient and environmentally friendly feed milling machines will help further reduce farm costs and improve efficiencies

“Our aim is to make good quality feed, using the latest technologies to help deliver quality and flexibility to farmers and create a competitive environment in South West Scotland,” says Mr Ockenden.

John Fergusson, says the mill will not only produce compound feed in South West Scotland, but also source inputs from local businesses.

“We will source grain from the locality and also use raw material coming into Glasgow port,” he explains.

The mill will also create a wealth of job opportunities, from mill operators to HGV drivers and nutritionists. A number of specialists have already joined the ruminant nutritionist team, with a number of roles still available. The aim is to build a strong team of advisors who will be able to access the wide knowledge and support within Mole Valley Farmers to help benefit livestock farmers.

The mill has also started trading by shipping in feed from the network of Mole Valley Farmers feed mills and is already working with over 200 farmers in the area.

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