For the first time in history distillers grains will replace more than one billion bushels of corn in US livestock feed rations saving the livestock industry significant expenses.
Charlie Staff, executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council, said that distillers grains typically sell for about 80 per cent of the value of corn and if you figure an average corn price of $4.25 per bushel for the year, the savings to the US animal feed industry would equal $850 million.
Distillers grains are a co-product of ethanol production and contain the same protein, vitamins and nutrients that the corn it is made from. On average, today’s ethanol plants make 18 gallons pounds of distillers grains and 2.8 gallons of ethanol for every bushel of corn processed.
A third of the corn used for ethanol production goes back into the feed supply as distillers grains, but USDA’s system of reporting doesn’t account for the fact that distillers grains offset some of the feed use of corn. This means that when USDA shows 4.7 billion bushels of corn goes for ethanol use, in reality, it is only 3.7 billion. After the ethanol process, a third of the corn kernel is leftover and that goes back into the feed supply and displaces corn.