Segregation during bulk transport
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Fines will always be present in pelleted feed, but their degree of acceptance varies by market — e.g., dairy pellets intended for use in robotic feeders should be virtually free of fines, while the integrated poultry industry is more tolerant of fines.
Still, almost everyone would be upset to find that their feed sample contained more than 50% fines. This not only creates physical problems, but there is potential for nutrient segregation and a loss of animal performance.
Kansas State Univeristy researchers conducted an extensive study to understand where fines are generated in the feed mill. They found that fines increased from 9% off the pellet mill to 14% after the fat coater and then to 20% going into the bulk truck (De Jong et. Al., 2015)
The white paper ’Segregation during bulk transport’ examines how feed containing 20% fines might look as it moves through the transport system and shows how fines can quickly increase from 20% to more than 50%.
- Segregation will occur unless care is taken to distribute fines and pellets evenly in the bulk silo
- Improving pellet quality will help by reducing the total amount of fines available to accumulate
- Silos empty from the top and therefore should be completely empty before a new feed is added
This article was published in Feedstuffs magazine, August 2016. We hope you will find it of interest - just download and enjoy!