URBANA — A Swiss agricultural company is contributing more than $1 million in equipment to the new University of Illinois feed mill being constructed on South Race Street.
Bühler, which makes everything from wood pellets and noodles to aluminum car parts and animal feed, is contributing milling, grinding, mixing and pelleting equipment to the project, “with a substantial portion of that total provided as a gift,” according to the UI College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
The $20 million Feed Technology Center will use Bühler’s cloud platform to analyze data collected from the facility, and Bühler will provide hardware and software to automate operations.
Bühler equipment is already being used in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory and the Food Science and Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant, said Kim Kidwell, dean of the College of ACES.
Construction crews began working on the new feed mill between Curtis and Old Church roads in June and hope to have it operational by fall 2020.
The new facility will deliver 8,000 tons of specialized research diets each year, which University of Illinois animal-nutrition scientists will use in their research on livestock and companion animals.
It will replace the 92-year-old feed mill on St. Mary’s Road south of State Farm Center.
The UI has contributed $6 million to the new feed mill, and the rest is being covered by private donations.
The Illinois Farm Bureau and animal-feed company Alltech Inc. have committed to the project, and ag-equipment manufacturer AGCO donated three 42-foot-diameter grain bins.
And in August, Archer Daniels Midland announced a $2.5 million contribution to the project.