Columbia Farms spent more than $20 million building the feed mill on 100-plus acres close to the city of Comer. The company will move its Lavonia operations to the new mill and most employees will relocate to the new site.
"It’s the first major project we’ve had since the Trus Joist company (Weyerhaeuser) came to Colbert in late 1980s," said Madison County Chamber of Commerce President Marvin White.
Columbia Farms built the 1,00 m2, 61 metres tall building next to a main CSX Transportation rail line.
"That’s where the mainline railroad opportunity is," production manager Scott Cochran said. "It’s closest to our growing operations."
Columbia Farms expects to begin producing chicken feed by the middle of September, weeks ahead of schedule, said Scott Cochran, a production manager for the company.
The plant likely will begin producing more than 6,000 tons of chicken feed a week based on current economic conditions, though the facility will be capable of generating 10,800 tons weekly, Cochran said.
The Madison County mill will supply feed to poultry farmers in Northeast Georgia and portions of South Carolina, he said.
Summary of project features:
- Two receiving systems: Rail receiving rated at 45,000 bushel/hour and truck receiving at 400 tons/hour.
- Ingredient storage bins: 23 ingredient bins to mixer (3,636 tons) and 4 pellet mill surge bins (640 tons)
- Loadout drive: 16 bulk loadout bins (3,126 tons)
- Whole grain storage: 700,000 bushel capacity with ladder track.
- Batching: 160 tons/hour capacity – One 8-ton "twin-ribbon" mixer and one 20 bin micro ingredient system.
- Pelleting: 120 tons/hour capacity – 2 lines of 60 tph each. Pellet mills with (500 HP) motor, counterflow cooler and crumbler.
- Support Systems: Complete plant automation, electrical and mechanical installation. Pre-cast warehouse, boiler and receiving buildings.