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Hog Producers Observe DDGS Production Process

by 5m Editor
21 June 2010, at 6:30am

US - As hog producers from Manitoba, Canada, travelled to Des Moines, Iowa, for the World Pork Expo, 8-12 June, they visited a South Dakota ethanol plant along the way.

There they had a firsthand look at the distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) production process. Importing 800,000 tons of DDGS last year, Canada remains the United States’ second-largest market for the ethanol co-product; in particular, hog producers from Manitoba represent a significant percentage of DDGS imported from the United States.

Manitoba hog producers are feeding DDGS at recommended levels but have had questions regarding its quality, consistency, toxin and nutrient content, according to US Grains Council Consultant Neil Campbell of Gowans Feed Consulting. In an effort to increase confidence in the product, the Council arranged for the visiting group to tour Council member Glacial Lakes Energy LLC, in Watertown, South Dakota.

“The tour group was very impressed with the plant’s quality control procedures and had further discussions regarding flowability aspects of the product, which is of some concern with on-farm feed manufacturers,” said Gowans’ consultant Clarence Froese who escorted the team. “Many of the 4,200 members of the Glacial Lakes cooperative are livestock producers who deliver corn and utilize the resulting DDGS in their own operations. The company is very sensitive to quality control measures that ensure a quality product for feeding to both swine and cattle.”

The Watertown plant processes about 110,000 bushels of corn per day with a similar capacity at their Mina, South Dakota, plant. About 20 per cent of the resulting DDGS produced by the company are exported for use in Canada.

Gary Duffy of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association said he was thrilled to hear a group of Manitoba producers visited the Glacial Lakes Energy plant since the Canadian market is an important one for South Dakota. “Investment in DDGS programs is essential because of the hog producers in Canada,” he said. “And due to South Dakota’s geographic location, it’s also important we have the ability to easily transport the product to our Canadian customers. The interstate passing right by Watertown serves as a mainline for getting DDGS into Canada,” he said.

As for the Canadian group’s recent tour of Glacial Lakes Energy, Duffy said their visit reinforced what South Dakota producers already know about US DDGS. “As South Dakota producers, we use the product ourselves,” he said. “We are very familiar with the quality of DDGS and happy to hear producers from Canada had the chance to see this for themselves while in South Dakota.”