Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy, Central Iowa, and BioCentury Research Farms

ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex: Notes on the Beginnings

Authors: Mark S. Honeyman (Iowa State University) , Jay D. Harmon (Iowa State University)

  • ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex: Notes on the Beginnings

    Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy, Central Iowa, and BioCentury Research Farms

    ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex: Notes on the Beginnings

    Authors: ,

Abstract

Several factors came together encouraging ISU to pursue a new centralized feed mill capital project including: • In the late 1990s, as livestock operations in the U.S. Cornbelt became larger and more integrated, the livestock feed industry became more specialized and more focused on serving large volume segments of the livestock industry. In this scenario, it became more challenging for the ISU livestock research and teaching farms to competitively bid and acquire feed for the university’s diverse livestock and poultry. • At the same time, the decentralized feed milling operations on ISU farms were outdated and in need of replacement. The mills dated from the 1950s to 1980s. • Feed milling technology and the complexity of rations increased, requiring higher precision technology. • The Iowa feed industry grew not only more specialized, but into one of the nation’s largest with a strong need for more highly trained feed mill managers and professionals. • The array of new feed ingredients from the growing bioenergy sector was increasing rapidly. • Interest by the feed industry as donors (both financial and in-kind milling and grain storage/handling equipment) was strong. • Interest in feed biosecurity and feed as a vector of animal disease was on the rise, encouraged by the world-wide avian flu outbreak and other livestock diseases globally. • The initial boom in ethanol production had cooled, lessening the demand for corn. • Grain exports contracted as world trade disruptions became more common. • Grain industry leaders looked to the traditional markets for grain and soy meal—domestic livestock feeding—to support corn and soybean use and prices. • The baby boom generation began retiring, taking decades of feed milling expertise out of the industry. All of these factors converged and helped propel College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to launch a new capital project – the ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex.The purpose of this article is to record the authors’ impressions of this project.

How to Cite:

Honeyman, M. S. & Harmon, J. D., (2021) “ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex: Notes on the Beginnings”, Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms Progress Reports 2020(1).

Downloads:
Download PDF
View PDF

281 Views

120 Downloads

Published on
03 May 2021