Crecora Mills has been manufacturing and supplying high-quality animal feeds to farmers for over 40 years. The family-run business covers the Munster region with two locations in Co. Limerick and one in Co. Kerry.
From humble beginnings in the early 1980s when John O’Connell started making animal feed to supplement the family farm, Crecora Mills has grown to employ 40 people at its state-of-the-art mills in Castlemahon and Crecora, and farm supply stores at the same two locations as well as in Listowel. John and his wife Phyllis are still involved in the business along with their children Lorraine, Jonathan and Paul, who is managing director.
The objective of the business has always been to provide quality animal feed at competitive prices. Crecora Mills’ greatest asset is its people, while it has forged strong relationships with hundreds of customers going back to its inception.
“We are proud to support local jobs and industry. As well as our staff, we employ many more indirectly. Our barley, maize and wheat are sourced from all over Munster,” Paul O’Connell explains.
“Our staff have been loyal to us and we like to think this is partly down to the fact that we are a good company to work for. It’s a real team effort from everyone.”
What started as a small enterprise buying, drying and selling local grain and selling chemicals expanded quickly into selling rolled barley, wheat and oats, and soon blossomed into a full coarse ration animal feed mill. Using the finest ingredients, quality feeds are manufactured for the dairy, beef, sheep and equine sectors.
“Most of our business is now coming from the dairy sector. It used to be beef, but with dairy farms getting bigger and bigger, that has changed,” Paul says.
As beef and grain farmers themselves, the O’Connells have an innate understanding of what it is like to be standing on both sides of the counter. Their own practical experience of working a family farm means they know exactly the level of quality products, service and value farmers expect and demand. This results in constant appraisal and improvement of the animal feeds themselves, the facilities and the overall efficiency of the service provided.
Crecora Mills manufactures a wide range of feed for the dairy sector that are tailored to suit different farm management structures and farm practices. They understand that every farm situation is different and aim to provide a wide choice of top-quality feed options to ensure their customers get good value nutrition for their animals and their farm system.
Crecora Mills’ Dairy MaxGrass and Calf Max nuts have earned a glowing reputation in dairy circles. Two of the manufacturer’s best-selling products are DairyMax 18% Nut Plus and Dairy Nut MaxGrass. DairyMax 18% has been formulated to provide a step above the Superflo 18% Nut product in terms of digestible energy content and a high UFL value. This product has become the mainstay of most high-performing dairy herds with customers reporting high milk solids, high volumes of milk and cows not losing body condition.
The main ingredients of Dairy Nut MaxGrass are maize (30%), beet pulp, soya hulls, barley and HiPro soya. It also contains a rumen buffer agent and active yeast that can also be put in a special fertility mineral pack if required. The buffering agent and the yeast helps the cow’s rumen to stabilise during a very difficult time while she changes from six months’ silage to grass. And when we get into very leafy second rotation grass, this feed helps to stabilise her rumen to help offset acidosis from this very leafy turbocharged grass.
All Crecora Mills animal feed products have full traceability and are formulated with regard to animal nutrition needs. A nutritional advice service is also offered to customers to help them grow their profits using these feeds.
About 90% of the feed is manufactured at the company’s mill in Castlemahon which was opened in 2007. This facility features state-of-the-art pelleting and coarse ration production lines. It is also home to a new 500kW solar farm which is another step to reducing carbon footprint and a dependence on electricity generation from fossil fuels.
“We’re constantly developing the latest pelleting technology and ways and means to be more energy efficient. Our solar panel farm, which was installed by Enerpower in Waterford, generates 75% of our electricity needs during the day. As always, any cost savings are passed on to our customers,” the affable managing director continues.
To maintain complete control of both the manufacture and supply of their animal feeds, Crecora Mills runs its own fleet of delivery trucks. Decked out in green, white and gold livery, the delivery trucks cover the Mid-West region and beyond. Most of the 10-strong fleet of Volvo rigids and artics are blowers and were purchased from McCarthy Commercials in Watergrasshill.
“If a customer rings us in a panic, we can look after them immediately and that’s a huge asset to have. We’re always maintaining, expanding and upgrading our fleet to ensure reliable and timely deliveries to our customers.”
Falling milk prices, high maize and soya costs caused by the war in Ukraine, and strong competition in the marketplace have provided Crecora Mills with many challenges. But the long-established family business meets them head on by offering a top-quality product that is always delivered on time at a competitive price.
As Crecora Mills continues to go from strength to strength, the O’Connell family would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers and suppliers for their support and loyalty as well as their staff for their hard work, dedication and expertise.
Tel: 061 355186
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 11 No 4, August/September 2023