Be Aware of Quality when Including Ethanol By-products in Rations

CANADA - Researchers with the University of Alberta are encouraging swine producers include as much of the byproducts of ethanol production in as possible when formulating rations but to keep a close watch on the quality of those ingredients, Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 29 December 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

In an effort to curb the rising cost of feed, livestock producers in western Canada have made significant adjustments to their ration formulations, including increasing the amount of distillers dried grains, a coproduct of ethanol production, in their rations.

University of Alberta feed industry research chair Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra says these coproducts have provided an opportunity to keep feed costs somewhat in check.

Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra-University of Alberta

Obviously we're not going to, by using a feedstuff like that, reduce the feed cost to what they would have been two years ago but they certainly are able to provide a cost savings of anywhere in the range of one to two dollars per pig so, if you're not using distillers grains right now, you're probably losing more money than you should.

The key here is what is the quality of the coproduct that you're dealing with?

Some of the research that has been published has generally been done with some of the better quality corn DDGS as an example.

As a result of that some researchers have stated extremely high inclusion levels without any reduction of performance.

Some of my colleagues that actually work in the feed industry that have been exposed to some of the lower qualities of DDGS, they are a lot more reluctant to go to that higher inclusion level.

Quality control is a big issue relative to any byproduct but corn DDGS especially.

Dr. Zijlstra stresses the importance of keeping a good handle on the quality of these ingredients.

He notes what is happening now, at least to some extent, is the mixing of these coproducts because some of the ethanol producers would be blending the feedstock when they make ethanol illustrating the importance of knowing the feedstuff before doing your feed formulation.

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