AGRAVIS and agricultural cooperative societies: High-quality liquid feed from our own production
"Pig SLK" is the name of the liquid feed for pigs, which has been produced for some weeks at RFG Raiffeisen Flüssigfutter GmbH (RFG) in Lüdinghausen. Shareholders of the company, which was founded last year, are Raiffeisen agricultural cooperative societies Lüdinghausen and Ascheberg along with AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG.
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It looks as if giant amounts of cocoa are being stirred in the vats. No wonder, for the brown liquid in the mixing tanks actually contains several tonnes of chocolate. Just like people, the pigs know was tastes good. And the mixture of steemed potato peelings, whey concentrate, wheat stillage and chocolate definitely count. "Pig SLK" is the name of this liquid feed for pigs, which has been produced for some weeks at RFG Raiffeisen Flüssigfutter GmbH (RFG) in Lüdinghausen.
"We started operations in June," reports Alfons Oberholz, who together with Jürgen Wortmann are directors of RFG. Shareholders of the company, which was founded last year, are Raiffeisen agricultural cooperative societies Lüdinghausen and Ascheberg along with AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG.
Production of the liquid feed is now running step by step. The aim is to ramp up production as quickly as possible to a total of 100,000 tonnes per year. To do this, the infrastructure at the RaiLog Lüdinghausen site, the agricultural logistics centre for the surrounding agricultural cooperative societies has been massively expanded: The liquid feed is mixed in three large tanks sunk into the ground each with a capacity of 300 cubic metres. They are in a new building directly on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. The ingredients for the liquid feed are fed from storage silos, which can each contain 250 cubic metres. If production runs at full speed, 17 of these storage containers will be needed. At present, they are not all ready. "In total, a small seven-figure amount has been invested," reports Alfons Oberholz.
The RFG shareholders stress "that we only process high-quality feed components." These are by-products from the food industry. The use of which for the feed production is therefore an important component for sustainability in the food chain. "The plant is integrated into the extensive AGRAVIS quality management system for QS and GMP and fulfils the requirements of the food and feed standard," emphasises Jürgen Wortmann, also head of department for specialist feed products at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG.
The basic components such as whey, stillage and potatoes are mixed with other components that must be available on the market in sufficient quantities so that they can be used constantly in production over several months.
As a result of the direct proximity to the canal, the liquid raw materials can be delivered in large quantities by ship. "This saves logistics costs," explains Oberholz. In addition, two collection points for truck deliveries have been built along with two stations for loading the finished liquid feed onto trucks. Efficient processes have been considered here, for the trucks are typically loaded within 15 minutes. The transport is provided by a licensed haulier.
The mix of potato, whey and stillage gives the liquid feed a series of positive qualities. As a result of lactic acid formation in the mixture, a product is created, which can be stored for at least two weeks while retaining the same quality and which has a homogeneous consistency until in the trough. This reduces the deposits in the liquid feed. The high proportion of lactic acid encourages the health of the animals' digestive tract and can therefore contribute to the reduction in medicines used. Feed costs can also be reduced by this supplemental liquid product.
Head of Operations, Sebastian Schwersmann, constantly checks the fermentation process. The important thing here is to prevent the formation of yeast through oxygen enrichment.
RFG therefore also allows agricultural businesses with smaller herds in the region to use a ready-made liquid feed without having to mix it themselves, says Alfons Oberholz. Sales are made within a 100-kilometre radius and are made through the local agricultural cooperative societies.