General Purpose Feed Mill - Farmville, N.C.
Southern States Cooperative, Inc.
This design-build project was originally defined by Southern States Cooperative as a large, completely new replacement facility for the existing 30-year-old Farmville mill. After in-depth discussions with the owner about existing conditions and production goals, Ibberson suggested an alternative approach involving some project de-scoping: Revitalize usable parts of the existing mill for specialty feed production, then construct a more modest-sized new facility on the same site to handle long-run feed production.
The plan was implemented. When the project was done, Southern States accomplished its goals to have substantial capacity and a very flexible operation, while dramatically reducing construction costs.
The design of the new facility stressed state-of-the-art production capabilities to make high-quality swine feed for eastern North Carolina’s hog industry. Other feed produced would be dairy cattle, horse, and for the first time, aquaculture feed.
Producing aquaculture feed at Farmville was a strategy that grew out of a plant productivity discussion Ibberson was afforded with the owner; this time the discussion culminated in adding a second manufacturing line. The new strategy entailed a completely automated mill tower with a separate batching system exclusively for aquaculture feeds.
The project design also comprised mass flow hoppers, a centrally-located operations area, a quality control room and an employee welfare facility. Other advanced features included variable-speed batching feeders, automated control systems, and special plant flexibility features.
Southern States remains convinced that this facility's best growth potential is in highly specialized custom feed. The new mill complex produces more than 800 custom formulations, utilizing 34 ingredient bins and 19 processing bins that provide 3,000 tons of storage. There is grain and pellet mash storage, plus 20 bulk load-out bins.
The aquaculture feed addition has proven a sound investment, more than doubling tonnage volume as of 1996. Roughly 90 percent of North Carolina’s aquaculture feed production is supplied by the Farmville facility.
Prior to the project, Ibberson had built or renovated four of five Southern States projects. Three of these were the industry’s first totally-automated plants, built in the 1970s.