Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

Feed milling with turkey manure energy

Sietsema Farm Feeds in Michigan, USA will install equipment for converting turkey manure into energy in its feed mill that it will use to produce livestock feed.

Work on the new, $3 million biomass operation is expected to begin by late August or early September, said company owner Harley Sietsema.

The equipment will generate steam and electricity from the litter of 1.1 million turkeys being raised at eight of Sietsema's farms, said Norma McDonald, operating manager with Phase 3 Renewables in Cincinnati, which is working with Sietsema Farms Feeds on the project.

"It's just a matter of getting the most out of all your products and byproducts," Sietsema told The Daily News of Greenville.

The turkey and feed mill operation is based in Allendale and has 38 associated farms within a 75-mile radius of the city.

The company raises around 1.3 million turkeys per year. Its pig operations finishes around 300,000 pigs per year.

Sietsema Farms Feeds, which he opened five years ago, at two feed mills (Howard City and Ravenna) annually 175,000 tonnes of feed is produced.

Sietsema started looking years ago for other uses for the turkey waste besides fertilizer. He discovered that large farm operations had started using a process called gasification to extract energy from animal waste.

In October, the US Department of Agriculture awarded Sietsema Farms Feeds a $500,000 grant and a $700,750 loan guarantee to construct the project.

Sietsema said he doesn't expect a profit from the new venture for three or four years but that should eventually change as energy costs continue to rise.

After meeting the mill's energy requirements, the excess electricity will be sold to a utility company.

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