"Energrow's pressing equipment is adding $200 an acre to one farmer's soybean crop"
By Jessica Sims
CHESTERVILLE – Ten farmers in eastern Ontario are using a provincially-made oilseed pressing system to process their own soybeans, canonla and othere oilseeds on-farm into pellitized animal feed and straight vegetable oil. The technology comes from a four-year-old company, Energrow, based in Newton, Ontario, 25 kilometers west of Kitchener-Waterloo. It was started by Jasmin Hofer, the daughter of a dairy farmer.
The systems cost between $20,000 and $30,000, depending on how much equipment a farmer decides to buy. But according to energrow website, most farmers will make the money payback in two years.
Dave Chambers, a Chesterville cash cropper, has been using an Energrow system for about a year to press his three other neighbouring farmers' soybeans into vegtable oil. He went with Energrow beause it was the only processing system he found made in Ontario, and Canada, for that matter – everything similar was manufactured in eithere Europe or China. "It's nice to keep it close to home," he said. "If we need parts they're a day's drive away."
Chambers is waiting for oil prices to rise so it's worth using the vegetable oil he produces in his diesel farm machinery. Right now he's selling the oil and making an income "that covers the costs and gives us a little bit too. Every little bit helps." The company says with one tonne of raw soybeans a farmer can produce around 100 litres of soybean oil, equivalent to 354 kilowatt hours or enough to power 246 60-watt light bulbs.
Chambers said he's "had virtually no problems" with his system even though he's logged six to seven thousand hours on it and it runs "seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 11 months of the year. The system have an automatic start and shut off that can be scheduled.
Energrow's pressing equipment is adding $200 an acre to one farmer's soybean crop in Lindsay. Bruce McKeown us amoung several testimonials on the Energrow website saying the feed he is able to process from his own soybean crops has increased the milk production of his dairy herd by 15 percent.
Via > FarmersForum