USDA Finds Distillers Grains Offer Greater Feed Value than Corn
by Kris Bevill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) A newly released report from the USDA appears to confirm what the ethanol industry has been claiming for years—distillers grains is a valuable feed source and can significantly reduce any impact of increased corn use for ethanol by replacing more than its share of corn or soymeal.
The USDA Economic Research Service report, “Estimating the Substitution of Distillers’ Grains for Corn and Soybean Meal in the U.S. Feed Complex,” finds that, on average, one metric ton of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) can replace 1.22 metric tons of corn and soybean meal in the U.S. Because only the starch of the corn kernel is used for ethanol production, the remaining fat and fiber in DDGS are increased by a factor of three compared to unprocessed corn, the report stated.
…“The value of the animal feed produced by the ethanol industry has long been misunderstood, understated and misrepresented,” said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the RFA. “Distillers grains continue to be the industry’s best kept secret, despite the fact that we are producing tremendous volumes of this high value feed product today. Over the past several years, distillers grains have been one of the most economically competitive sources of energy and protein available on the world feed market. While some critics of the ethanol industry attempt to downplay the role of DDGS, the facts simply can’t be ignored.”
…Cooper said information from the USDA’s report should be used to recalculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission values associated with corn ethanol production. For example, the California Air Resources Board currently assumes that one metric ton of DDGS replaces an equal amount of corn. Updating its analysis to reflect the additional value of DDGS could have a significant downward impact on the lifecycle GHG emissions for ethanol, he said. READ MORE and MORE (DomesticFuel.com) and MORE (Corn & Soybean Digest) and MORE (Renewable Fuels Association) and MORE (Wisconsin Ag Connection) and MORE (Nebraska Corn Board) and MORE (Brownfield) Download Study