News last update:7 Aug 2012

DDGS about to be affordable and attractive

Feeding distillers dried grains is not yet a practical option for Midwestern livestock producers, but by the end of summer it will be, says a Purdue University specialist.

"Right now, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are too expensive when considering nutritional value, transportation and storage to substitute as a feed ingredient for most of Indiana's livestock industries," Purdue Extension swine specialist Brian Richert says in a recent Purdue report. "But as more ethanol plants come into production, competition and an effective pricing system will be created, which will increase demand and utilization on the livestock side."

Ethanol increase
Currently, U.S. ethanol production is at 5.16 billion gallons, rendering 32.2 billion pounds of DDGS. Some estimates show that by the end of 2007, the United States will be producing 10.67 billion gallons of ethanol, putting 66.7 billion pounds of DDGS on the market, Richert says. "This increase in ethanol production will possibly make DDGS an affordable and attractive option, especially to beef and dairy producers," he says.

Storing and handling
Once a producer decides to feed distillers grains, they need to look at their storage and bin capacity, Richert says. Storing and handling DDGS is challenging. The product flow characteristics and handling characteristics make it difficult to handle in some of the feed systems, he says.

If storage capacity is an issue, talk with a neighbour and consider splitting a load. Feeding distillers grains creates an opportunity for local co-ops to provide a service to smaller producers, where they would have the distillers grains on hand and deliver smaller tonnages for producers to utilize. If the operation does not have the storage capacity, producers should consider whether it is worth the investment to add storage to have the opportunity to use DDGS and other future by products.

Related links:
University of Purdue
Dossier AllAbout Bio Energy

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