Monthly Archives: July 2014

Micro Machines

Micro machines are widely used in the US and are gaining popularity in Canada. These machines dispense additives (i.e. Monensin, MGA etc.), removing the need to have a unique supplement/bin for each combination of additive fed. In the US, the two most common micro machines are made by Micro-Beef and Lextron. Using these machines require you to buy the additives from the company that makes the machine.

A machine made in Saskatoon by Comco Controls is gaining popularity in both US and Canadian feedlots. Mechanically, it is similar to the alternatives. The big difference is that it is marketed separate from the additives it dispenses allowing you to buy cheaper additives. Another difference is that the Comco machine is now integrated with Fusion. Now you can add each additive as you do other ingredients in a ration formula. As a load of feed is being made, Fusion communicates with Comco to start batching the proper additives. At the mill, a push of a button in Fusion dispenses the additives onto the load of feed. The larger Comco bins also make it easier to add a trace mineral/vitamin package through the machine. For many diets, calcium could be the only other nutrient that needs to be supplemented. In other words, it is feasible that limestone and a Comco machine could deliver all the supplementation that is needed. This could reduce supplementation costs considerably.

Together, Comco and Fusion can increase simplicity, accuracy, and cost savings.

(An Excel spreadsheet is available to help determine proper levels of additive to enter into Fusion.)