January 24, 2008

US opens up market for distiller's grains in Algeria

The US Grains Council (USGC) successfully shipped 44 metric tons of distiller's dried grains (DDGS) with solubles to Algeria last week, as part of the council's quality sample program.

The DDGS are the first ever imported from the US by Algeria and will be used in feeding trials scheduled to begin in February or March.

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On one hand this is good news. It means that we are opening up new markets for distiller grains which should help with economics. But on the other hand it highlights the fact that domestic livestock producers aren't fully exploiting this resource to help lower their costs.

Out of 9,400 surveyed livestock operations in the Upper Midwest and Corn Belt, early in 2007, 36 percent of the cattle-on-feed operators fed ethanol co-products.

Another 34 percent did not feed ethanol co-products, while 30 percent of operations with cattle on feed had not fed co-products and had not considered feeding ethanol co-products.

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It points to the fact that more research is needed into how much distillers grains can be included in the rations for different animals. It also points out the need for better efforts to educate farmers on the advantages of feeding distiller grains.

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