The cattle industry in Mexico's southern states of Veracruz, Tabasco and Chiapas has millions of dual-purpose (milk and meat) cattle, making it a market of interest for distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), reports Julio Hernandez, U.S. Grains Council director in Mexico.
“Basically we were assessing the market and promoting the use of DDGS,” said Hernandez of his recent trip to the area. “There’s a lot of opportunity for DDGS with beef and dairy.”
Cattle producers in the region have active organizations that could help spread information about using DDGS.
“In Veracruz and Villahermosa, they know each other and have been working together, and in the case of Tabasco, they have a processing plant, a dairy and a small feed mill that can serve as a distribution center,” Hernandez said. “In the case of Chiapas, although they are very small farmers, they have a very interesting system similar to an extension service, with educators that try to improve the technology. There is a high interest in having the most modern technology that can be used by their farmers.”
The greater challenge for DDGS sales may be the challenge of achieving enough volume to control shipping costs.
Hernandez met with central players in the feed supply chain, including grain handlers at key ports, feed millers and brokers.
“The feed millers are very interested in utilizing DDGS as a regular ingredient in their formulations, but they are having a hard time getting enough volume to do this by themselves. They need to form a purchasing group to achieve the minimum volume to buy one hold on a vessel,” said Hernandez. “Then they can get a reasonable price for their production costs.”
For the farmers, Hernandez says it would be easy for the Council to start feeding trials and arrange for someone to teach them how to use DDGS.
“DDGS make sense for them,” he said. “We know the technology, we know the product and it’s easy for us to help them learn to use it.”