It wasn’t that long ago that DDGS (distillers dried grains with solubles) were a “by-product” of ethanol production that couldn’t be given away. Now, just a few short years later, DDGS became a “co-product” and provide an additional income stream to rural economies and another option in feed rations to livestock farmers. With the help of your Illinois corn checkoff investment, DDGS are becoming an increasingly valued and sought after component of successful livestock operations.
Making DDGS a more valuable component of the livestock feed ration is a goal of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), and therefore it is in that direction that some corn checkoff dollars are invested. ICMB also invests with the US Grains Council (USGC), which traditionally builds export markets for corn and other grains. More recently, USGC has worked to increase export markets for DDGS, bringing awareness to the ethanol co-product on a worldwide scale.
A recent article published online by DTN Progressive Farmer takes up this issue (click the link for the full article). It reads, in part:
“According to two USDA economists, the U.S. could have fed as much as an average 62 million metric tons (mmt) of distillers' grains (DGs) a year during the past five years, compared with production of 37 mmt last year. They estimate feeding actually averaged a touch more than 29 mmt, with exports taking as much as a 9 mmt -- going mainly to China, Mexico and Canada.
Corn and soybean meal quantities fed in the United States have moderated or declined in recent years, due partly to the substitution of DDGS or other ethanol co-products (corn gluten feed or corn gluten meal) for corn and/or soybean meal. DDGS represent, on a weight basis, the equivalent of about 37.8% of the corn used in the associated ethanol production process, they say… Ethanol co-product feeds reached an estimated 17.5% of livestock feeds in 2010-11, leading to DDGS replacing soybean meal as the number two feedstuff fed, second only to corn.”
For USDA's report on feed substitution, click here.