Distillers Grains Making Inroads In Feed Market

– Daniel O’Brien

“The question is, how much distillers grain is being used? The answer is, Every bit of it.”

U. S. livestock and poultry producers will boost use of distillers grains during the next five years and decrease the amount of corn they feed their animals, an agriculture economist said May 12 at a distillers grains conference.

Feed use of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGs) will increase by 23 per cent by the 2015-16 crop year and feed corn use will drop six per cent, Kansas State University economist Daniel O’Brien said at the Distillers Grains Symposium.

Feeders will continue to use roughly five times the amount of corn than distillers grains, but virtually all of the DDGs made during ethanol fuel distillation will be consumed by animals in the U. S. and elsewhere.

“The question is, how much distillers grain is being used? The answer is, Every bit of it,” O’Brien said.

Between 25 to 30 per cent of U. S. distillers grains are forecast to be exported and the rest consumed domestically, mostly by beef and dairy cattle, with hogs and poultry consuming lesser amounts, said Linwood Hoffman, agriculture economist at the U. S. Agriculture Department.

About 17 lbs. (7.1 kg) of distillers grains are produced for each 56 lb.-bushel of corn (25.4 kg) that is made into ethanol.

The fuel distillation process strips the starch from the grain, leaving a protein-rich animal feed that can replace corn and soybean meal in feed rations.

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