Having been left to chew cud since 2014 SunRice's dormant Coleambally Rice Mill will be up and running again this year as a ruminant nutrition mill.
SunRice’s animal nutrition business CopRice will be spending the next nine months converting the mill to produce mash and blended stock feed from discarded rice and rice byproducts.
The feed will also be made from byproducts from wheat, barley, corn, almond hulls and cotton seed which are increasingly becoming readily available in the MIA.
In a statement CopRice has said that the new mill is expected to become its biggest volume contributor of animal feed within its first 12 months of operation.
The new mill will be fitted with 80,000 tonnes of feed storage space, warehousing and containerisation capabilities, and is expected to employ 10 full time staff following its construction.
According to CopRice their existing Leeton mill will be also be working in close collaboration with the new mill manufacturing advanced nutrition concentrate pellets which will be added to the mash and blended products from Coleambally.
“The Coleambally facility will provide the platform for CopRice to become a leading Australian ruminant animal nutrition producer, as we move from a pellet-only business to offering a complete range of pellets, mash, blends and concentrates,” SunRice CEO Rob Gordon said.
"We are excited to be continuing our investment in the Riverina and especially in Coleambally, which has been core to SunRice’s success, and about the opportunities this facility will provide for local employment and businesses."
Senior agronomist Mark Zanatta at Terra Ag Services in Griffith said he was happy to hear that the Mill will be creating more employment in the region, however he does not believe much feed will be sold locally.
"There isn't a big stock feed market except for when there is drought," Mr Zanatta said.
"A lot of that feed will go into the Victoria dairy market I presume, it's well positioned in Coly to the south."
According to Mr Zanatta rice growers will be most likely to benefit from being able to turn cracked and poorly graded rice into mash.
"If SunRice can value add to that lower grade of rice the return to their growers will be higher as the whole return per tonne of paddy grown will be higher," Mr Zanatta said.
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