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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mina-boac, Josephine
item Maghirang, Reynaldo
item Casada, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2006
Publication Date: 7/9/2006
Citation: Mina-Boac, J., Maghirang, R.G., Casada, M. 2006. Durability and Breakage of Feed Pellets during Repeated Elevator Handling (abstract). American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Paper No. 066044.

Interpretive Summary: Pelleting of animal feed improves the efficiency of feeding and the convenience of feed handling. An estimated 80% of non-ruminant feed in the U.S. is pelleted. These feed pellets need to be durable and of high quality to withstand the handling and transportation process from feed mill to feed trough. To determine breakage and durability of corn-meal-type feed pellets, the pellets were repeatedly transferred between two storage bins in the USDA-ARS, Grain Marketing and Production Research Center research elevator at Manhattan, Kansas. The feed pellets withstood eight repeated elevator handlings without a significant change in durability as measured by the standard tumbling box test. In general, the handing characteristics were similar to shelled corn, but these feed pellets generated less dust emissions compared with shelled corn. These results will help feed handlers evaluate and improve their handling and transportation procedures.

Technical Abstract: Pelleting of animal feeds is important for improved feeding efficiency and for convenience of handling. Pellet quality impacts the feeding benefits for the animals and pellet integrity during handling. To determine the effect of repeated handling on feed pellet breakage and durability, a 22.6-t (1000-bu) lot of feed pellets made from corn meal was transferred alternately between two storage bins in the USDA-ARS, Grain Marketing and Production Research Center research elevator at Manhattan, Kansas, at an average flow rate of 62.2 t/h. Samples from a diverter-type sampler were analyzed for particle size distribution (by sieving) and durability (by the tumbling box method). The apparent geometric mean diameter of samples decreased with repeated transfers, whereas the mass of accumulated broken pellets increased with repeated transfers. The percentage of broken pellets increased by an average of 4.0% with each transfer from an initial value of 17.5%, which was within the range of published values for shelled corn obtained from the same elevator. The pellet durability index averaged 92.9% (standard deviation=0.6%) and did not change significantly (p>0.05) during the transfers. The high pellet durability index indicates that the pellets can withstand repeated transfers in feed handling systems.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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