Following Soybeans Through China

South Dakota ‘See For Yourself’ Group Visits World’s Largest Feed Mill

Yang Xiang employees meet with See for Yourself participants. The Yang Xiang Company operates one the largest feed mill's in the world.

Yang Xiang employees meet with See for Yourself participants. The Yang Xiang Company operates one the largest feed mill’s in the world.

On their second day as guests of Mr. Yang Xiang, the group toured the world’s largest production feed mill.

The Yang Xiang Company is not only a leader in swine reproduction, but also feed production. Sow nutrition and herd health is a major component to the success of Mr. Yang’s 40,000+ sow farm.

Half of the feed mill’s production is fed to Mr. Yang’s sows and boars, while the other 50% is sold to other hog, chicken and duck farms. The company produces 1.2 million metric tons of feed a year. To help put that in perspective, the Yang Xiang Company will produce the same amount of feed in one month, that would take some U.S. feed mills to produce in an entire year.

South Dakota soybean farmers look at feed samples from the Yang Xiang Company.

South Dakota soybean farmers look at feed samples from the Yang Xiang Company.

Nathan Davis, a soybean farmer from Ipswich, shared that touring the Yang Xiang Company helped him understand how important the soybean export process really is, and how it’s essential that soybean farmers meet their customers.

“I have had the opportunity to visit ports in Washington State and now travel to China. To experience the entire soybean journey from planting and harvesting on my farm to exports from a U.S. port, and now seeing a potential end-user at a feed mill and hog farm in China is incredibly exciting.”

The Yang Xiang Company purchases soybeans on the basis of protein, and their soybean meal is typically purchased at 43%, 45% and 46% protein levels. Grain is imported, processed into feed, bagged and hauled to Mr. Yang’s hog facilities. Currently feed is bagged in 154-pound bags, but eventually bulk purchases will be available. Products are identified by barcodes for easy tracking and monitoring.

Machines place the 154-pound bags of feed on pallets where they are moved to the loading dock and loaded onto trucks.

Machines place the 154-pound bags of feed on pallets where they are moved to the loading dock and loaded onto trucks.

On his way to the scales, workers use brooms to sweep up feed that may have fallen off the trucks.

On his way to the scales, workers use brooms to sweep up feed that may have fallen off the trucks.

Tim Ostrem, farmer from Centerville and SDSRPC director, presents Manager Lu Dongping with a gift in appreciation of the tour.

Tim Ostrem, farmer from Centerville and SDSRPC director, presents Manager Lu Dongping with a gift in appreciation of the tour.

Jim Wehde, farmer from Sioux Falls, visits with Yi Jiang, one of the group's hosts at the Yang Xiang Company.

Jim Wehde, farmer from Sioux Falls, visits with Yi Jiang, one of the group’s hosts at the Yang Xiang Company.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Scoop on Soybean Blog as the group of the farmers wraps up their journey in China this week.