Feed Ingredients: Bagged or Bulk Purchases
Soybean meal may be purchased either bagged or in bulk. The decision of which to use is based on the labor of handling bags, the cost of bulk storage and the cost of bagged vs. bulk product. Processing feed for a 100-sow, farrow-to-finish system requires double handling of about 88 50-pound bags of soybean meal per week. Only about 26 50-pound bags of other ingredients will be used weekly. Bin sizes, for ingredients received in bulk, are determined by the expected size of delivered lots. Salt, calcium, and phosphorus sources, milk byproducts, and vitamin and trace mineral premixes are normally purchased and stored in bags. Enough bag storage space is needed for easy access to all ingredients.
In large systems, the labor and expense of handling bags will sometimes justify bulk purchase, handling, and storage of truckload lots of all ingredients except vitamin and trace mineral premixes. Calcium, phosphorus, and salt sources are corrosive and will draw moisture from surrounding materials. These minerals are commonly held in ground level and overhead wooden or steel bins. Corrosion in steel bins can be reduced by coating the inside with epoxy or other coating. Bins constructed of fiberglass or other noncorroding materials are available.
Credit: Kim Koch, North Dakota State University