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Increased Biofuel Production Expected to Alter Livestock Production Patterns

by 5m Editor
7 September 2006, at 9:24am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2238. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2238

A research economist with the University of Minnesota predicts the recent massive growth of the US biofuel industry will result in some significant shifts in North American livestock production patterns.

The 2005 US energy bill established year to year targets for the increased utilization of biodiesel and ethanol in the United States to the year 2012.

Growth in US and Canadian Biofuels Production and its Effect on Livestock Production is one of the topics to be examined during the Western Nutrition Conference later this month in Winnipeg.

Douglas Tiffany, a research fellow in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, points out the demand for corn has grown rapidly with the construction of new biofuel production facilities.

"These plants are popping up all over the countryside and there is some concern that the plants may be too close to one another, they will be strongly bidding for the feedstock, the corn and that is causing shudders among the livestock producers because they say, wow how can we compete against all these folks who are after the corn that we thought we were able to buy cheaply and that's going to really put the pressure on certain livestock entities.

The USDA did a projection last year when this bill was passed and it called for reductions in feeding of swine and beef cattle. There will continue to be expansion in broilers and probably turkeys."

At the same time, Tiffany notes there's going to be a tremendous amount of distillers dried grain with solubles and he suggests, if livestock producers aren't using these feeds at this time, they should certainly look at the best way to utilize this mid level protein.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor