Sunnyside Feeds LLC west of Mandan, N.D., is nearing its first year anniversary as a successful livestock liquid feed supplement business.
“We're the first liquid feed plant in 20 years in the U.S.,” said Sam Arndorfer, regional sales manager at Sunnyside. “It's doing well as more and more producers hear about us. We've had a good run here through the fall and winter.”
Arndorfer said the plant in Mandan, built last spring, makes Dakota Pro Liquid Supplements.
“We bring in the raw materials, make it right here, and send it out,” he said.
The product is a molasses-based feed supplement containing vitamins, minerals, protein and energy, and can be custom formulated according to a producer's needs.
Arndorfer said the supplement can be used in both the beef cow and the dairy industries.
Producers who want healthy calves at birth are looking for this type of supplement for their cows.
Calves can use it in the same way as creep, and it is a good supplement in the feedlot, he said.
In addition, the supplement can help with maintaining body condition in the pasture. It can be fed when grass or hay is of poor quality, but it can also be fed all year long for increased production, Arndorfer added.
“Cattle like the taste of the molasses in the supplement, but as long as proper feeding and management practices are followed, livestock won't overeat it,” he said.
According to Sunnyside, the supplement stimulates micro-organisms in the rumen, boosting appetite, feed intake and feed utilization.
Two dairy producers, Dan and Bill Price of Oliver County, began the company, Arndorfer said. They joined with Westway Feeds to build the Sunnyside Feeds plant because they recognized a gap that needed to be filled.
The nearest liquid feed plants are in St. Paul, Minn., or Nebraska, so freight was a costly consideration for producers here, he added.
Sunnyside, located in central North Dakota, now trucks the liquid feed supplements to North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
“We serve a fairly large region,” Arndorfer said. “It's an economical way to supplement.”
The supplement utilizes ethanol byproducts (distillers grains), high fructose corn syrup byproducts as balancers, and molasses to form the basic product, he said.
“Producers are buying it for a protein supplement for their cattle,” Arndorfer said. Any level of protein from 4 to 50 percent can be custom formulated, as well as most levels of vitamins, organic trace minerals, ionophores or other additive.
“Fly control can be added to it if the producer wants,” he added.
Dakota Pro can be put on a lick wheel feeder which goes around like a wheel when the cow licks it, he said.
It can also be mixed with dry, dusty hay or dry corn to make the feed more palatable to cattle, Arndorfer said.
Lactating cows may need the extra protein for milk production and growth.
For dry cows, Dakota Pro can help maintain health and prepare them for the next lactation. A ration in the supplement can be added to help control milk fever, while the Vitamin E and selenium help in cleanup after the birth of a calf, he said.
Producers like the convenience of the liquid supplements too, Arndorfer said.
“You can maximize the value of your forage with the liquid supplements formulated for your needs,” he added.