A new engineering concept from Vecoplan AG converts nutrient-rich crop residue into marketable pellets for environmentally friendly fertilizer, fuel, feed and animal bedding.

An innovative and highly successful breakthrough by a world leader in size reduction and density management, the containerized pellet plant (CPP) turns farm and ranch waste into products that commercial markets seek.

Operating from its facility in New Albany, IN, the Vecoplan Midwest subsidiary brings the compact and portable processing plant to the heartland. The CPP arrives in two shipping containers and operates as a double-decker unit on an owner-supplied 40 x 18-foot slab and 480-volt 3 phase electric current to the plant’s main panel that powers its controls. The turnkey operation can start production immediately after installation, and its expense-reducing design prevents the need for dedicated buildings. The CPP can achieve a pellet production status of 1-2 tons per hour with a set-up time of one day or less. Different models can provide a throughput of as little as half a ton per hour or up to 18,000 lbs or more in the same period with options that include bulk loadout, tote sack loading, and weigh scale bagging. In a nutshell, the CPP converts waste into usable products for the farm, ranch and public marketplace. The turnkey system handles the challenges of reducing waste and managing an efficient operation that transforms resources into marketable goods. By combining multiple technological functions, the compact plant provides a unique service for farmers and ranchers. The advanced technology accomplishes tasks that create value out of seemingly worthless materials and eliminates the need to leave crop residue in the fields. Vecoplan Midwest offers on-site operator training to ensure a smooth transition to production status.

What Does It Do?

Crop residue management practices and no-till methods let farmers choose to leave the nutrient-rich ag waste on the ground, but Vecoplan Midwest offers a practical and profitable alternative. The modularized system creates a pelletized product on the spot. With the capacity to reduce the size of solid components, the CPP increases density and makes the output easy to transport. The turnkey system combines the company’s expertise in shredding, conveying, pelletizing, screening, cooling and packaging products with customized controls to bring profitability to the disposal of ag waste.

What’s the Input?

The CPP turns agricultural waste into profitable pellets with the input of residue from alfalfa, bean stubble, corn stover, hemp, straw, chicken and livestock manure, paper and shucklage. The efficient design works with most existing trailer loadout systems and accepts 40-lb bags or tote sacks as well. After shredding, the material advances to the top of the CPP to begin the pelletizing process. With the abundance of vegetation from increased yields, problems can occur in the decomposition process when residue remains on the ground. The streamlined turnkey pelletizing system brings profitability to the disposal of waste, alleviating the accumulation of excess residue and the issues that can result from it. The vast stores of energy, nutrients and fiber in crop leaves and shoots, tops and stalks, legume and cereal straws, stubble and grasses provide the input that can make the pelletized goods desirable to consumers.

What’s the Output?

The complex system confirms an ancient adage that “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” as it manages accumulated waste and prevents residue buildup in the fields. It converts ag waste into pellets for fuel, animal bedding, fertilizer and feed for a diverse range of consumer needs. Almost unimaginable to anyone who has never seen them, farms that stretch across hundreds and thousands of acres produce crops that leave behind about half as much residue. The highly enriched material has the potential to enhance less fertile land through transportable pelletized fertilizer as well as provide a source of animal feed and bedding for sale in garden shops, pet stores, and animal feed outlets. As an innovative approach to recycling, CPP lets owners regard crop residues not as waste but as a valuable contribution to a functional agroecosystem.

What’s the Profit Picture?

The massive amount of crop residue on vast acreage can obscure awareness of the limited access to nutrient-rich resources that consumers across the country traditionally have to accept. However, pelletized vegetative waste and livestock manure can provide essential products that become available through brick and mortar stores and online outlets. Millions of homeowners with landscapes that feature gardens, flower beds, and specimen trees in large cities and small towns in almost every state need access to the nutrients in residue that produced the abundant crops. Racetracks and horse farms can use the pellets as fuel and animal bedding, and chicken farms can use them in nesting boxes and compost heaps. Pellets provide convenient access that customers may obtain in no other way, and they transport efficiently from an owner’s CPP to satisfy needs across the country. There’s more than one game in town when crop producers and ranchers can provide pelletized residue and manure directly to retail markets. Sales to retailers directly or customers through an online internet presence offer access to an alternative profit center and source of revenue.

Can I Move It?

When the need or desire to relocate a CPP occurs, the process offers a surprisingly efficient way to accomplish a move. A crane can load the upper deck onto a semi-trailer and then place the lower unit onto another to transport the plant to a new location. Some farmers and ranchers may choose to position the processing plant in the same place permanently or to move it to a central spot that allows convenient access by a group of owners. The equipment locks down for secure travel and requires the removal of only a few transition pieces and reinstallation at the new location.
Vecoplan Midwest pellet systems deliver production rates from 1,000 to 18,000+ lbs per hour, depending on the material being pelletized and the size of equipment specified. Below: Corn stover converted to pellets. Click on image to see detail.
The CPP is available in several model configurations, so there’s a system that is ideal for your needs. Each model is designed to produce the maximum throughput with a minimal footprint. Click on the image below to see detail.