March 29, 2008

Mixing Dry Materials With Wet Ethanol Byproducts Increases Storage Life

Wet distillers grains storage research
Wet byproducts from ethanol production are tricky to store for later use as cattle feed because of their high moisture content and threat of spoilage, but mixing them with drier, bulkier feeds improves storability, according to University of Nebraska-Lincoln research.

UNL animal scientists have just completed research that devised formulas for mixing several widely available dry forages with wet distillers grains. Their findings could help feedlot managers and cow-calf producers purchase wet distillers grains during the summer when their plentiful supply can mean lower prices and safely store them for use later in the season, or for winter feeding.

The relatively short shelf life of wet distillers grains has been a key obstacle to their use as feed in some situations, said Galen Erickson, a UNL beef nutritionist. Feedlots need to have the material delivered frequently and use it within a few days to avoid spoilage; for smaller operations, that's not economically feasible. Cow-calf operators, meantime, have greatest use for the feed during the winter, but that's when supplies tend to be lower than during the summer.

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