The growth of the ethanol industry and the use of dried distillers grains (DDGs), a co-product of ethanol production, as livestock feed have both harnessed significant controversy and skepticism from livestock producers through the years, and the use of distillers grains as livestock feed was a major topic of discussion at this year’s American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Conference, held this week in Minneapolis.
Al Giese, Co-Owner & Manager of Prarie Feed & Trucking (PFT), has worked as an agronomist, an animal nutrition expert, and is a cattle producer himself. Gives uses DDGs in his cattle’s rations, and he sat down to speak with AgWired’s Joanna Schroeder during the 2016 ACE Conference to discuss the benefits he has found through their use.
“In the early phases of the ethanol industry, there was a lot of confusion among livestock producers who felt that the ethanol industry was driving up their feed prices by increasing the price of corn, the value of ethanol co-products in the animal ration was not clearly understood,” said Giese in an interview during the 2016 ACE Conferece. “But now we’ve found that the ethanol industry is not dramatically affecting the price of corn at this point, given where the prices are right now, and now virtually every ration in a feedlot in dairies and ranches includes a dry distillers grain.”
Giese explained that the distillers grains offer a type of nutritional and economic efficiency that simply cannot be found in whole corn products.
“Distillers grains from ethanol allows the animal producer to achieve their least cost ration and optimum animal performance, which increases their profitability,” he said. “The reason this has worked to the benefit of the livestock producer is because the nutrient value of DDGs, pound for pound, is greater than corn. It’s the protein we’re after, we want to achieve the maximum protein level at minimum cost. I have not seen a ration in years where you could not least cost the ration because of the product’s nutritional value, primarily related to protein.”
Listen to Joanna’s full interview with Al here:
Interview with Al Giese, Prairie Feed & Trucking
View and download photos from the event here: 2016 ACE Ethanol Conference Photo Album