Northern Ireland has the most concentrated feed milling industry in Europe, with over 2.5m tonnes of animal feed produced annually and around 150,000 tonnes sold across the border.
This is a modern industry, and feed millers continue to invest in new plant, equipment and logistics.
As of June 1st, 2022, according to DAERA statistics, there were 20.6 million poultry in Northern Ireland, so this is a major market for the feed milling sector.
The number of both beef and dairy cows was relatively consistent, with 246,240 beef and 316,775 dairy cows.
Overall, the total number of sheep was 2.1m, a 3% rise from June 2021. Total pig numbers recorded in June 2022 increased by just over 3% to 738,540 compared to June 2021.
Gortavoy Feeds in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone is a family business which was established in 1982 and, in 2015, began a three-year programme of investment in new plant and equipment at a cost of £3.5m.
They do all their own transport – collection of feed ingredients and customer deliveries. They have 12 modern trucks on the road collecting feed ingredients and delivering cattle, dairy, poultry and sheep rations.
These include Man, Volvo and Scania trucks with trailers ranging in size from 18, 22, 28 and 30 tonne, so they can cater for all delivery requirements.
According to their managing director, Joe Gilkinson, “the new investment has allowed us to double manufacturing capacity and to improve feed quality”.“We have also been able to extend the range of feed products manufactured, and these now include poultry diets such as layers mash.”
Late in 2022, they purchased six 25-ton McAree Engineering split merchant silos to add to the existing V Mac Silos on-site.
Joe Gilkinson says, “the V-Mac silos we purchased are ideal for our feed business”.
“They are easier to unload than other feed bins, and our farmer customers can get away quicker.”
“In addition, the V-Mac silos are heavily galvanised and of very good quality.”
According to V-Mac sales manager, Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering has developed a reputation for quality, value, and customer service over the past 75 years.
He says that over 15,000+ V-Mac Silos have been installed to date across Britain and Ireland.
“Every single silo is custom-built to our customer’s specific requirements, and we have the widest range on the market.”
“We use a unique rolled body strip of MagiZinc® in our V-Mac silo body construction, which ensures a smooth inside wall helping excellent product flow and gives the feed silo super-strength construction,” he concluded.