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Adding Value to Available Crops

Recently I had the opportunity to tour a cotton extrusion and pressing plant in Texas.  I really enjoyed the trip because in Latin America most of our processing plants process soy, texturized soy protein and pet and fish food.

I had two main takeaways from the tour:

  1. Determine what commodities are available locally and see if you can add value to them
  2. The importance of seeing an extrusion plant prior to investing in a new facility

The world has many different crops and some seed can only be grown in certain areas.  Cotton is mostly grown in the southern United States, northern Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, western Africa, southern Europe, India, China and Australia.  Driving to the cotton processing plant in Texas, there were cotton fields as far as I could see in every direction.

What are the benefits of extruding and pressing cotton?  First of all, cottonseed meal is a valuable source of protein in beef and dairy cattle rations.  It also has high amino acid digestibility, fiber quality and by-pass protein.   Typically ExPress® cottonseed meal has 26% protein, 6% residual oil, 26% fiber and 8% moisture. The extrusion process will reduce the activity level of the free toxic pigment Gossypol by 85%, as well as rupture the oil cell walls, which is important for proper mechanical oil extraction (taking out 2/3 of the oil).

If cottonseed is available, take a look at the local market and see if there is an opportunity to add Cottonseed ExPress® products.  From the cottonseed you can produce two products – cottonseed meal that can be sold, fed or added to a feed ration, and crude cottonseed oil which can be sold as crude, refined or used in a feed ration.  If you already have a cotton gin, adding an extrusion and pressing line is a good option to consider.

The other takeaway from my tour was that the guests on the tour from South America really had the chance to see their vision in action.  They want to add a cottonseed extrusion and pressing line, but had some doubts about how the entire plant would look.  They had the opportunity to talk to the owners and operators and they came away with many answers they were looking for.   Our Regional Sales Director for US and Canada, Duncan Nesbitt, wrote about the benefits of visiting an oilseed crushing plant back in 2013 and gives a step by step process of what to look for during a visit.

My final thought is that in some areas of the world there are niche oilseeds that haven’t been studied much, but have a high percentage of oil, or a high protein meal.  At Insta-Pro, our R&D department can work with you to test these seeds and help you determine if there is a business opportunity in extruding and pressing them.