Ferriday Oil and Seed wants competition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

ferriday &8212; Business is good for Ferriday Oil and Seed Processing LLC, but it&8217;d be better if they only had some competition.

&8220;There&8217;s not enough of us,&8221; plant manager Ronnie Goodwin said. &8220;Little mills like this are kind of unique.&8221;

In many businesses, that&8217;s a good thing, but when you&8217;re trying to land a contract with a big poultry producer, it doesn&8217;t matter how good your meal is, you need to be big.

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&8220;They use 12 trucks a day in their feed mills, and we don&8217;t produce but three trucks a day,&8221; Goodwin said.

Even though Ferriday Oil and Seed&8217;s chemical-free meal, with a healthy 6 percent oil content and 44 percent protein content, gets great reviews, they&8217;ll continue to produce less than capacity until local production can meet demand.

&8220;We&8217;re too big for some and too small for others,&8221; financial manager Gary Thorton said.

With maintaining the same feed for the entire production cycle vital, big buyers are hesitant to buy from upstarts, even if they could supply the volume demanded, Goodwin and Thorton told members of the Louisiana Soybean Promotion Board during a tour of the facility Tuesday.

Raising demand for soybeans and soybean products produced and sold in the state is the mission of the board.

Glen Daniels, Concordia Parish County Agent, told the group there are more than 250,000 acres of soybeans grown in Concordia and nearby parishes and an organized effort would be good for all involved.

&8220;If we put it together, we could have Louisiana people supplying the Louisiana chicken market,&8221; Daniels said. &8220;We have to work together.&8221;

Ferriday Oil and Seed sells more than meal, however, and the growing popularity of bio-diesel fuel has been an unexpected bonus, Thorton said.

&8220;We expected to have most of our income come from meal,&8221; he said. &8220;But with bio-diesel, our income streams are now level.&8221;

The Louisiana Soybean Association will hold its annual meeting today at the Comfort Suites in Vidalia.