This post was originally posted on January 15, 2015.
Dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) have become a valuable part of agriculture. A by-product of ethanol production, this product makes an excellent livestock feed and is transported by rail to various parts of the U.S. so that the livestock centers of the world can take advantage of it. DDGS are also exported to other countries to feed livestock there.
DDGS can be either dry or wet. In the Midwest, it is very common for ethanol plants to dry their DDGS in a dryer. This dry product stays fresh for a much longer time and is able to be transported across the country or world. It is also cheaper to transport because ethanol plants are not shipping so much water weight. The DDGS in the photo above are dried.
The Distillers Grains in this photo are wet. Often, ethanol plants that are co-located with livestock farms don’t undergo the additional cost to dry their DDGS because they can be used nearly instantly by area livestock. Also, with livestock close by, these WDGS don’t need to be transported great distances, thus the water weight does not matter. The WDGS pictured here are produced in Texas and feed almost immediately to cattle.
One-third of the corn used in ethanol production returns to the market as livestock feed. In fact, DDGS have replaced soybean meal as the second largest livestock feed component, second behind corn.
Want to learn more about DDGS? Check out these links: