Darryn McDonnell, operations manager of Seales Winslow's Ashburton plant, inspects product with plant operator
Cassie Songhurst. The plant is to be expanded and upgraded. Photo by Maureen Bishop
In a bid to meet the demand for supplementary animal feed at
peak times, Seales Winslow is to spend $10 million upgrading
its manufacturing facilities, including those at Winslow,
Graeme Smith, general manager animal nutrition, said the
upgrade was intended to remove all bottlenecks in production,
and most of the investment was aimed at increasing
One year on from becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of farm
nutrient co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients, the company
was making significant investments in its service and
manufacturing capabilities to better meet the needs of its
customers, Mr Smith said.
''It can be a challenge to deliver on orders fast enough
during peak seasons, and we are really looking to up our game
to make sure we have product for all of our customers where
and when they need it.''
The project is due to be completed before the coming spring
It will include new production plants for Ashburton and
Morrinsville, which will produce textured feed - known as
muesli - thereby extending the capacity to deliver a range of
compounded muesli-style feeds.
There will also be improved production capacity at these two
plants to improve delivery of dry pellet compound feeds. An
upgrade of the Ashburton molasses block plant would increase
production threefold and involve employing extra staff, Mr
Smith said. Five or six extra staff will be employed during
Robotic stackers will be installed at Ashburton, along with
increasing the bagging capacity of products. This will speed
up the process and reduce heavy-lifting hazards for
The Wanganui plant, which opened last year, will get enhanced
production and bagging facilities to boost capacity.
Improvements will also be made to information systems and
computerised plant process control systems.
''We are also increasing the field force in sales and in the
science extension team,'' Mr Smith said.
Two new field consultants in Northland and North Otago will
join the current team of 12 and additional science extension
officers will be appointed in both the North and South
An animal nutrition science manager had been employed, who
would focus on working with the market to demonstrate the
economic benefits of the strategic use of animal feed, Mr
''The New Zealand farming market has changed, particularly in
Canterbury, as farmers look for supplementary feed on top of
pasture. We must grow to meet the demand.''
- by Maureen Bishop