At the recent 2014 Feed Mill Management Seminar in Nashville, Tenn., Phil Sisler, feed mill manager with Perdue Farms, discussed the evolution of the maintenance process throughout the years, from reactive maintenance to integrated maintenance, and implored managers to find out where their mill facilities may fall in that process. On one end of the spectrum, he explained, is a complete lack of a PM program and on the other end is predictive maintenance, which is ideal.

"There is no best time for a feed mill machinery breakdown to occur. But, if you could predict when a failure is going to occur, what would you do?" Sisler asked during his presentation, The Importance of a PM Program, at the seminar sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

Garrett Rea, program manager with Tennessee OSHA Consultative Services provided a Safety/OSHA Update. He noted the 10 commonly found hazards in feed mills, which included combustible materials, falls and electrical hazards. He also reminded feed mill managers to ensure that temporary contractors and internal staff know and are following the same rules.

Dr. Mike Blair, senior director of nutritional services with Pilgrim's, provided an overview of the value of alternative ingredients in his presentation, "Are Alternative Feed Ingredients Really Saving You Money?"  Blair stated that an alternative feed ingredient is any ingredient that replaces corn, soybean meal or fat in a broiler diet, with criteria being based on each operation. Since alternative ingredients also fall under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Blair urged managers to audit carefully and know where their ingredient supply is coming from. His closing remark stressed the importance for purchasing, nutrition, feed mill and live production all working together to determine the value of alternative ingredients.