Saturday, July 14, 2007

Distillers Grains Key to Texas Livestock

One message that is often overlooked by major media when they report "Food vs. Fuel" stories is that corn based ethanol (CBE) is both food AND fuel. How can that be? Well in the ethanol process, only the starch is removed. What's left, the nutritious protein and fiber called Dried Distillers Grains (DDG), is an important co-product that can continue to feed the livestock industry in the US and even the world.

According to a recent report by Texas A&M University, "There's no reason the cattle-feeding industry in Texas cannot remain strong and viable if it incorporates distiller's grains into rations".

Dr. Jim MacDonald, Experiment Station beef cattle nutritionist, also states "So we'd better figure out how to feed distiller's grains".

The good news that is that two ethanol plants are opening soon in the Texas Panhandle, providing a steady supply of distiller's grains and making the alternative feedstock even more attractive.

"In the future, as long as it is priced relative to corn, I think there will be a necessity to use this new large pool of feed," MacDonald said.

He goes on to state, "The beef and dairy industries are in the best position of any of the livestock industry to use distiller's grains".

The report also noted that the growth of the ethanol industry in the Corn Belt has created a greater demand for corn in that area and now they now have a large surplus distiller's grains. That could make them cheaper to rail into Texas than whole corn.


Source: Texas A&M

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