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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Comments on Making feed, feeling like crap, going broke, and the usual complaints

Yesterday I attempted to make feed. It did not work. I am having serious problems with logistics and cash flow. 

What I need to make feed efficiently is a concrete slab. I need three bins which hold 2-10 tons. (Oats, peas, barley plus maybe another small bin for flax or clover seed) I need a hopper with a conveyer that goes really slow to feed the pellet mill. 

I need a place to set it up and leave it.

But here is the problem. If the local farm store sell a full pig ration for 40 cents per lb., I can't charge more even though I am locally grown. It is just too expensive, plus I am not able to legally add the vitamins and mineral package as that is another level of licensing. Although, if I had a 20ft by 30ft, 18ft high eves, building with a cement floor I could probably be organized enough to get the license.

Second issue goes back to the first. Pelletizing the ground grain allows you to produce a non dusty product. You can use grain which is dirty or has small hard noxious weed seeds that don't break down in th hammer mill. Or I can more efficiently add alfalfa or grass hay.  However, the pellet mill capacity is a maximum of 900lbs per hour with the 6 mm die. This is for a soft mix of oats, peas, barley, and alfalfa (and a little molasses and/or used cooking oil). That rate drops instantly if you add grass hay or you can't get the moisture right.  So if my math is correct, at $75/hr for the Fiat White 2-60, my lowest cost per hour for pelletizing is 8 cents. 900lbs/hr and $75 is $.08. It gets worse. The small die is a maximum of 400lbs per hour but according to my experience it is more like 200lbs which boosts the price to 38 cents a pound! Even at 400lbs it gets expensive at 19 cents per lb.

So if raw grain is $150 per ton or $.08 per lb and I add $.05 for grinding and $.08 for pelletizing then my cost is $.08 + $.05 + $.08 then my basic cost per lb is $.21! So, if I am hitting the magical price point of $.28 per lb which is where the feed really starts to move when I am selling locally I am doing all this work for eight cents a pound???? Not even counting the price of equipment! So, I am making a profit of $160 per ton?

Why am I doin this???

I had to do sprayer training Thursday. I hope you all understand that my other job is a groundskeeper. Somehow my supervisor signed me up for sprayer training with Agri-Service dealership. It is a multistate AGCO dealer. I learned how to run a Rogator. Doesn't really translate to a ten foot sprayer powered by a Honda engine. 

One of the trainings was on a system that reduces drift and increases sprayer efficiency. There were numerous testimonials where BTO's swore the system worked but they didn't know how. The "system" is a stack of tubes which appear to be on the suction line which are full of rare earth magnets. This costs $30,000. I found a DYI which perhaps I will try. I do love me some powerful magnets!!!

It doesn't matter what you produce, it is marketing! I have hemp tonic which will prevent the Wu-Flu, I have local and sustainable feed, I have rare and valuable old stereo equipment, I have a charming and fun personality, BUT DO I HAVE MONEY????

Also, I am still sick. My student helper of a couple years ago came out with her husband to get a big plastic shuttle tank to store rain water. I didn't tell her this was probably illegal. She is from Vietnam and is used to dealing with Commie Bastards so I think she can adapt. We talked for a long time. I got really cold. I also spent the day covered in dust. Today I once again feel like crap. Can't breath and just general low energy. I have taken zinc and vitamin C and hemp tonic and Vitamin B-1 and I sleep 12 hours. Good Grief! I have also tried will power... Perhaps I need a booster shot of Will-Power and not some weird vaccine that will probably kill me though a blog clot.

Views from my week, cause I know you like pictures...

This is where I want to be..
Making Hemp Pellets

The Cure for Covid!

350 pounds per hour! I am getting rich!

However, when I try to grind grass and alfalfa I have to feed it super slow. If I cover the rollers it plugs up. Extremely frustrating!


  1. Illegal to collect and store rain water? Did I wake up on another planet That is? about the craziest idea I've heard. I do love the old MM calendar. And if you could market that cure for Covid I think you'd be set for the rest of your life financially. Get well soon.

  2. Thanks for sharing your costs. I usually learn something when I read your posts. The hemp world confuses me with the allusion of a cure for everything. As a groundskeeper and farmer and feed producer you've probably ingested/inhaled several lifetimes of bad things. In the area I grew up in Southern MN there used to be a lot of old scrawny immigrant (Scandinavian) farmers who toiled in the fields and with cows well into their eighties. With the advent of chemicals for fields and those crazy hog farms the water is bad, the air is bad and there aren't any old scrawny farmers. Deny as one might the COVID variants are making their rounds of rural America and the unvaccinated. Staying away from people is the best first step. Regarding feed production: does the college have any sort of ag programs that you could provide 'real life' experience for or tap for $$?


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