DDGS book advises livestock, poultry producers

By Ryan C. Christiansen | January 03, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 8, 2008 at 10:05 a.m. CST

The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center, an affiliate of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, has published an electronic book about using distillers dried grains with solubles in the livestock and poultry industries.

Titled "Using Distillers Grains in the U.S. and International Livestock and Poultry Industries," the publication is intended to help DDGS market participants understand how to best utilize and optimize the product to suit the needs of beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and poultry. The book also identifies export opportunities for DDGS and describes some of the logistic hurdles that need to be resolved, as well as new technologies that are being used to improve DDGS as a feed ingredient for livestock and poultry.

The book was edited by Bruce Babcock, Dermot Hayes and John Lawrence, professors of economics at Iowa State University. According to Babcock, Hayes and Lawrence, the book was written because of the rapidly rising production, consumption, and trade of DDGS, from 15 million tons of production during the 2006/07 marketing year to a projected 35 million tons in 2009/10. "To put this quantity in perspective, the amount of DDGS that will need to be marketed in 2013/14 will be approximately equal to the amount of soybean meal produced in 2006/07," the editors said. "This means the DDGS market will have to grow to absorb as much product over a five-year period as the soybean meal market has absorbed over several decades." The editors indicate these projections are "probably conservative" if crude oil prices continue to average in excess of $100 per barrel and if corn prices decline from their weather-related highs in 2008.

Livestock and poultry producers might enjoy discounted DDGS prices and reduced feed costs due to oversupply, but only if producers know how to best utilize and optimize DDGS for the needs of each species, the editors said.

The free online book is available at www.matric.iastate.edu/DGbook.