feed mill

The University of Illinois’ new Feed Technology Center is shown Wednesday on south Race Street in Urbana.

Listen to this article

URBANA — The University of Illinois’ new feed mill is almost ready to open.

The $20 million Feed Technology Center on South Race Street will replace the 93-year-old feed mill just south of the State Farm Center.

“It’s a bit of a scramble here at the end for a project of this scale, but all the major equipment is installed,” said Rod Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences. “We’re in the midst of completing some safety checks.”

A load of corn was delivered, “so they can starting running that through various aspects of the feed mill to remove construction debris,” he said.

The new feed mill should be able to prepare complete diets “in the next two weeks,” Johnson said.

The new facility will deliver 8,000 tons of specialized research diets each year, which animal-nutrition scientists will use in their research on livestock and companion animals.

Once the new feed mill opens and is fully running, the old one will eventually be shut down, and Research Park officials have expressed interest in using that land to expand.

“The current feed mill sits at a location of Fourth and St. Mary’s that campus would like to repurpose,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the old feed mill was not in good shape, with outdated technology, and was not a great learning environment for students.

And he said the new one will allow researchers to make real-time nutritional assessments of various ingredients.

The College of ACES announced Wednesday that it had received a $50,000 donation from Compeer Financial, one of several ag industry donations to the project.

“They recognize the value of having a new state-of-the-art feed mill and what it can do for agriculture,” Johnson said.