DDGS Shows Good Potential as a Feed Ingredient for Swine

Research at the University of Minnesota suggests pork producers can successfully increase the inclusion of dried distillers grain in swine diets, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

By end of 2006 the U.S. produced about 12 million metric tonnes of dried distillers grain per year and, fueled by increased ethanol output, that volume is expected to increase to about 30 million by 2010.

Dr. Gerald Sureson, with the University of Minnesota's Department of Animal Science, believes this by-product has good potential as a feed ingredient.

Gerald Sureson-University of Minnesota

In the case of corn distillers grains, it's got about the same energy value as corn so, as I think about its application in Manitoba or western province type of swine diets, it's going to compete very favorably with reducing some of the wheat and barley as energy sources in those diets so I think that's a positive.

From the protein or amino acid point of view it's got some of the same problems that corn has in that it has kind of what we call a poor protein quality, or the lysine level relative to the protein content and also relative to what the pig needs is fairly low and so I think that corn distillers grains would compliment wheat and barley diets quite nicely because they happen to have an advantage over corn as a base grain in lysine and some of those key amino acids.

Typically ten percent inclusion rates in grower finisher diets have been done in the states for many many years and I know they're done here in parts of Manitoba or western Canada as well and our research has clearly shown that, if you pay a little bit closer attention to the nutrient profile of the distillers you're using, formulate your diets on a digestible amino acid basis, you can go to higher inclusion rates very successfully without really much of any negative consequences.

Dr. Sureson notes research at the University of Minnesota has shown some real benefits on gut health from feeding DDGS and, because of it's high phosphorus digestibility the need for inorganic phosphorus supplements can be reduced or eliminated which will cut costs and help reduce manure phosphorus excretion.

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