Energrow In the News
Why raise soybeans and sell them only to turn around and buy soybean meal to feed cattle and diesel to fuel tractors?
That’s what Ontario dairy farmers Jasmin Hofer and her father started asking themselves 8 years ago. Their solution was to work with machinists and engineers to design a cold screw press to process their beans. It paid for itself in less than two years of use at their 120-cow dairy. They now run Energrow Systems, manufacturing a pressing system that typically generates a 3-year payback with a 75-cow herd.
“Our goal is to help farmers use more of their own farm grown crops, minimize purchased feed and fuel, and produce a more consistent feed, making more money for the farm,” says Hofer.
The Energrow System presses out oil and extrudes pellets for feed similar to other European presses, but Hofer notes there are significant differences.
“Soybeans are the most common oilseeds pressed on farms in North America due to the feed value, but not in Europe, where rapeseed is most commonly grown and pressed,” she explains. “Soybeans by nature are much more abrasive and harder on equipment, and the design and materials used to build Energrow Systems reflect this. Our system can also handle other oilseeds with some minor change of settings.”
The Energrow system is automated, with a touch screen controller and sensors and probes monitor running of the machine.
“Our system comes ready to plug in and run. It has an auger control, so an auger is easily connected to automatically deliver beans,” Hofer says. “The system also comes with a sedimentation tote to capture and settle out the oil, making filtering or further refining of the oil more efficient. The resulting pelleted meal can fall into a tote bag supported by removable arms or be integrated right into another kind of feeding system without totes.”
With a bin feeding the automated system, it can run 24/7 with no labor required, except making sure there are soybeans in the bin. A built-in panel heater allows Energrow to operate in cold, uninsulated conditions.
The system can press just over 1 ton of seeds/day to produce about 21 gal. of oil and 2,000 lbs. of pellets. Electricity cost per ton is about $4.50 (based on 14 cents/kwh).
As a dairy farmer, Hofer understands the details and issues important to farmers. Energrow works with customers to find grants for government programs in Canada and the U.S. to help pay for the system, which runs about $30,000. The company offers a 2-year warranty on electrical components and 5-year warranty on structural components. Plus they offer prompt support if there are any problems, and they can help customers market the oil they produce.
“Energrow’s customers are primarily dairy farmers looking to reduce their feed costs,” Hofer says. “Some of our customers are also crop farmers looking for a value-added business opportunity.”
Check out the website for dealers. Dealer inquiries welcome.
On Farm Presses let Dairy Operations get Better, not Bigger
Ontario Grain Farmer, November 2011
HIGH PRICES are a welcome change for grain farmers but a challenge for feed purchasers like dairy farmers. Although many choose to get bigger to increase profitability, some producers are focusing on feeding cows better.
With the quota cap limiting herd expansion since 2009, many Ontario dairy farmers that are looking to grow their operation have started re-investing in their cropping and feeding practices. One increasingly popular option to investigate is on-farm feed processing with the use of a soybean press. Jasmin Hofer of Energrow, a Newton based company that produces one type of oilseed press, says she has been extremely busy this fall attending shows and trying to keep up with information requests.
“Farmers are telling us that they have been thinking more and more about getting a press for their farms,” says Hofer. “Since dairy producers can't buy quota right now, there is more cash available for other investments.”
Third generation dairy farmers chosen
March 17, 2011
Nova Scotia dairy farmers Geoff and Jennifer Bishop are Atlantic Canada’s 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF). The couple from Round Hill, NS were presented with their award by the Hon. John MacDonell, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture at a recent banquet in Moncton, NB. Also in attendance were the Hon. George Webster, PEI Minister of Agriculture, and the Hon. Michael Olscamp, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, OYF alumni and agri-business representatives. The Bishop’s will represent Atlantic Canada at the national OYF event later this year in Brandon, MB.
SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — Processing oilseeds on-site to produce feed and fuel makes sense. Among the scores of vendors at the recent Empire Farm Days, Energrow showcased its new on-farm ES3750B Oilseed Pressing System. The system processes oilseeds such as soybeans, canola, flax, sunflower seed, rapeseed, linseed, sesame seed, mustard seed and similar seeds. “There’s a lot of high costs farmers are facing and this guarantees the price more by pressing their own,” said founder Jasmin Hofer. “Instead of selling soybeans and buying them back as feed, they’ll know what the costs are. They’re not just reducing the cost of the feed, but they’re extracting the oil to cut their fuel costs.” Plus, farmers can choose when they want to process oilseeds.
Midwestern Ontario Regional Green Jobs Strategy
Excellence in Community Strategic Planning 2011
Energrow showcased in video as part of the award-winning Green Jobs Strategy (GJS) implemented in Midwestern Ontario. GJS has 4 objectives to develop the region's green economy: identify emerging jobs and connect them with local skill sets, as well as develop a labour market strategy in partnership with key stakeholders.
Energrow Crushers, Leonard and Mark Howes & Family built a new $2.5 million dairy barn the local way. Howes are based out of Vankleek Hill, ON and recently had an open house that attracted over 700 people. Their barn showcases a running Energrow System right in the new feed room.
Via Better Farming
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
As part of the recent Bruce County Holstein Club Tour, Jim and Helen Christie and family of Christhill Farms at Tara went beyond just showcasing their farm which houses 200 Holsteins and featuring 12 excellent, 54 very good and 14 good-plus animals. The Christies also offered visitors some fresh fries with a twist... french fries made in their own farm-pressed soybean oil. Right near the deep fryer, Christie's show-cased their Energrow Oilseed Pressing System, which processes the farm pressed oil. The system enables the Christies to take their farm-grown soybeans and make fresh soybean meal, while extracting oil to add extra value. The oil is cold-pressed, meaning it keeps the oil's natural nutritional traits intact. Unlike solvent extracted oil, the oil is not bleached or deodorized, giving the fries a distinct golden colour and uniquely fresh flavour. The soybean meal made from their system (Soyex) replaces most of the Christie's externally purchased energy and protein supplements for their dairy cows. "Our cows really like our homemade Soyex and get a really nice shine from the oil left in the meal," said Jim Christie. "We've saved a lot on our feed bill and have a lot more control over our feed costs. We are currently feeding a 78% forage ration." "An Energrow System can really help producers take more control over their commodity and reduce external costs...it's a step towards freedom," says Jasmin Hofer, general manager of Energrow. "I think the Christie's have actually brought a new meaning to the term "freedom fries!"
By MARY GOLEM