USGC to conduct DDGS feeding trials in Russia

By Ryan C. Christiansen | September 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 25, 2008 at 2:16 p.m. CST

The U.S. Grains Council is planning to conduct distillers dried grains with solubles feed trials with the St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, poultry industry as early as next spring, provided the Russian government certifies the commodity for import.

The USGC hopes that DDGS can be exported to Russia as early as January, according to Craig Coon, a USGC consultant and a researcher at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. Coon said because DDGS is not completely free of material derived from genetically modified organisms, the certification process in Russia is taking some time. He was in Russia the week of Sept. 14 to coordinate setting up the feeding trials.

Currently, Russian poultry farmers use primarily sunflower meal for feed, as well as wheat, but very little corn, Coon said. "As a general rule, their feed intake is a little high because of the quality of their buildings," he added. "At this point, they are eating much more than they should. A lot of it has to do with temperature and a lot of it has to do with the older equipment they have for delivering their feed to the birds."

Coon said two feeding trials are planned - a trial for layers in St. Petersburg and a trial for broilers in Moscow. In St. Petersburg, there is a new operation with 300,000 layers in 10 rows in one house, Coon said, and DDGS will be introduced into five rows of layers. He said the trial, which should last approximately 80 weeks, will compare the eggs, weight gain, and feed conversions between the layers consuming feed with DDGS and the layers consuming the operation's current feed mixture.

In Moscow, there is an operation with eight broiler houses and 27,000 broilers in each house, Coon said. Broilers in four of the houses will be fed DDGS in 5 percent starter mixture, 10 percent grower mixture, and 15 percent finisher mixture and then the performance between the DDGS-fed and non-DDGS-fed broilers will be compared.

Based on projected local grain prices versus imported DDGS prices, the Russian poultry farmers should find that it will be cheaper to use DDGS than their current feed mixtures, Coon said. The market in St. Petersburg alone would use 17,000 metric tons of DDGS annually, based on a 20 percent DDGS diet.

The USGC said a delegation from Russia is expected to attend the International Distillers Grains Conference and Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 19-21.