JOANNA, SC – Poultry research firm Cobb-Vantress, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., announced plans to invest $22 million in a new feed mill in Laurens County, SC. Construction of the feed mill is scheduled to begin this year in the town of Joanna with completion by mid-year in 2017, the company said in news release.

The mill is expected to produce 1,200 tons of feed per week. The feed mill will supply Cobb’s grandparent breeder farms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, in addition to a great-grandparent farm also in Georgia. Cobb said the new facility will implement the latest technology for pathogen reduction, including heat to treat feed ingredients before pelleting. Environmental controls will be used to prevent cross-contamination.

The mill also will have a dedicated rail spur to carry supplies from other production regions in the United States. Grain from local markets may also be used and delivered by truck, the company said. The new mill is expected to create 12 new jobs.

“We want to ensure that we have a long-term internal feed supply that will give us complete control over the consistency and quality of the end product,” Dr. Steve Bolden, director of World Technical Services, said in the release. “This is Cobb’s third feed mill in the US, the others being in Siloam Springs, Ark., and in Albany, Ky. With the completion of the Joanna feed mill, we will internally produce all of our feed supply for pedigree operations through to grandparents.”