ACE: DWG can replace corn in animal feed

By Anna Austin | August 04, 2008
Web exclusive posted August 18, 2008 at 10:28 a.m. CST

Dr. Terry Klopfenstein, a professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Ruminant Nutrition Department and Alan Janzen, owner of Circle Five Beef Inc., say there are benefits to replacing corn with distillers grains, particularly distillers wet grains. Klopfenstein and Janzen spoke during the American Coalition for Ethanol's 21st Conference and Trade Show, which was held in Omaha, Neb., Aug. 12-14.

Klopfenstein demonstrated values and benefits of using DWGs for livestock feed by using corn feed as a base for comparison. He reported that through experiments at the university, it was found that DWGs contained 130 percent of the feed value of corn. Distillers dry grains contained about 115 percent. "In 2007, if we sold dry distillers (grains) at 84 or 85 percent of the price of corn, we paid somewhere between 30 to 40 percent for the cost of drying. We pay to dry it, but then there is less feeding value," he said. Klopfenstein added that while drying may be cheaper for some who have heat recovery systems, his calculations have suggested that using DWG is still more economical than using DDG. "It does take more loads of wet than dry feeds," he admitted. "But we have tried to account for all of that. At this time, we would prefer to not have it dried at all. The economics are favorable."

Klopfenstein also touched on extracting fat from feed for its high value. Through an experiment to test the effects of extracting fat and protein from feed, a composite was made from corn, tallow and added protein in the form of corn gluten. "We were trying to figure out whether it is the fat or protein that gives the feed its extra energy," Klopfenstein said. When either product was extracted, the energy value decreased. "It went down (the feed value) to slightly abovealmost equal to corn," he added. "The bottom line is that the feeding value would decreasebut (considering the value of the fat) it still may be economical to do that. However, the feed will most likely be sold for less."

To read more about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's feed experiments visit http://beef.unl.edu.