Based in Clitheroe, in the heart of the North West of England, the Home n' Dry brand (previously known as FiveF Alka) is owned by family-run business and ruminant feed manufacturer, Dugdale Nutrition.
The long history of alkasystems technology dates back over 35 years, following a trip to the United States in the early 1980's to see how nutritionists fed cattle with high genetic potential. Lucerne hay was almost universal in nutrition, unlike in the UK, where feed options were limited to acid fermented grass silages.
Grain crops were good to grow in the UK, but after harvesting, the crop either required fermenting or treating for stability. In 1986, Home n' Dry® was developed to process grain at harvest and manufactured by B. Dugdale & Son Ltd. The foundations of alkasystems technology were now in place.
In the early 1990's the first integral small grain processing mill was developed. Thanks to the processing mill, the cereal plant could be brought to full maturity in order to maximise the yield and the grain utilisation. The name for this new, unique feed - Alkalage®. Unsightly for vermin and stable in the clamp, it is alkaline with increased protein content and digestibility.
By the mid 1990's, companies producing Alkalage® had increased steadily and they could now decide whether they want the entire harvest or the more concentrated 'heat cut' option for the production of Alkastraw®. Companies were also able to product Alkagrain® by treating processed grain.
During 2003, Alkalage® was now being produced across the UK and sparked the interest of many Irish farmers, traders and nutritionists. In collaboration with a small number of approved distributors, the use of alkasystems in Ireland and Northern Ireland has increased from year to year.
By 2004, a Home n' Dry® production facility was being developed in Perth. Meanwhile, thousands of tonnes of grain are grown throughout Australia and New Zealand.
During 2007 and with the help of alkasystems technology, feeds made alkaline and pelleted for ruminants proved to be an innovative application for feeding.
Throughout 2010, it became clear that Alkasystems technology can be used in a number of ways outside of traditional uses. After initial tests with Home n' Dry®, a new alkaline feed pellet called AlkabupHa® was developed to decrease the acidity of mixed diets. Just like the founding principles of the late 1980's, AlkabupHa® allowed animals to be fed better, avoiding problematic diets.
It became clear that Alkagrain® can be manufactured and marketed as a commercial feed and at the same time as an alkalizing component for feed. During 2013, work began on making alkasystems technology easier for large-scale feed prodction. Alkagrain 150®, a five-fold version of Alkagrain that is used on farm. This new concept could then easily be used as a feed ingredient for mixtures and pelletized feed, with two major advantages;
It only requires space and funding for a fifth of the average inventory
All of the feed produced, not just the grain portion, can be fully alkalized, which results in a greater feeding benefit
The first blends and pellets using this technology were manufactured and sold in December 2013. A network of manufacturing partners was on board to product the alkaline grain feed Alkablend® and Alkanut® in both coarse and pelleted form. From this point on, you can really say that there is now an alkasystem solution for every ruminant scenario.
By 2014, the markets in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France have also started to developed and authorised distributors now sell Alkasystem products across the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The production of alkaline feed has both improved animal performance and the increased use of grain and feed efficiency.
In February 2021, B. Dugdale & Son Limited purchased the remaining 50% share capital of Five F Alka Limited. B. Dugdale & Son Limited played an integral part in the development, launch and manufacture of Home n’ Dry technology from the very beginning and the two-family businesses continued to work closely together over the years. The acquisition of the remaining 50% of FiveF Alka is therefore a very organic progression within the evolution of alkasystems and allows for further development opportunities going forward.
We look forward to sharing our latest news and developments with you going forward. Please find all updates on the 'latest news' section of the website and do not hesitate to get in touch for further information.