The feed manufacturer, which reported production volumes of 589,000 tons of feed in 2017, said it has ploughed £2m (US $2.7m) into the development of its blend production facility at Wardle, Cheshire.
The capital outlay has enabled production throughput to rise from 26 tons to 44 tons per hour, and brings efficiency enhancements and reduced operational costs, said the company. It expects to pass on the benefits of such efficiency improvement to its farmer customers.
George Franks, NWF Agriculture, said blends form an important part of NWG Agriculture’s business, and include both standard and customized formats.
“The strategic decision to invest in the Wardle blend plant has increased efficiency, generating real cost savings.
“By increasing production capability we’re able to innovate further, look at new formulations and blend mixes that will provide a nutritionally balanced and performance enhancing feed for livestock.”
NWF Agriculture, which forms part of the AIM listed, NWF Group plc, claims to be feed one in six dairy cows in Britain. It supplies over 4,750 farmers in the UK.
It has been buying up UK feed entities over the past few years. It acquired SC Feeds in 2013, New Breeds in 2015 and ruminant feed manufacturer, Jim Peet Agriculture, in 2016.
In addition to its three compound mills, the company manufactures a range of blended feeds and also has a third party product range including straights, specialty feeds, forage seeds and additives.
A NWF Group report indicated the key strategic priority for the NWF Agriculture business is to increase the nutritional focus in feeds, particularly as the milk price has increased and dairy farmers are looking to increase yields.
It reported revenue for NWF Agriculture in 2017 of £158.2m, which it said was a jump of 16.5% on 2016. It cited increased volumes, feed prices and additional sales of traded products in the year as the reason for the hike. However, it noted the headline operating profit at NWF Agriculture last year was £1.5m (2016: £2.1 million) as a consequence of the impact of increasing commodity prices on margins.
Total feed volume, it said, came in 1.6% higher on 2016.