Distiller's Grain 10.6.14
Bagging Distillers Grain
There are always many different things going on at the farm, and this week is no different. Today my dad is bagging distillers grain. Listen to this week's radio segment below!
In case you’re not familiar with it, distillers grain is a co-product of ethanol production. After the starch is removed from the corn and converted to fuel, the remaining parts of the corn are sold as distillers grain. Distillers grains are a good sources of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This makes distillers grain very valuable as a livestock feed.
We will use our distillers grain to feed the cattle in our feedlot this winter. All those vitamins and minerals make distillers grain a nutrient dense ingredient to add to our feed, and it is an economical option for us as cattle feeders. Dried distillers grains (DDGs), can be used in place of corn and soybean meal at a rate of 1 to 1.2, meaning we have to buy less feed.
Distiller grain can be sold wet, dry, or modified. This time our distillers grain is modified so it contains about 50% moisture. Because we will be using it throughout the winter, we need a good way to store it so won’t spoil. This year we are using giant bags to store it in. The bags are eight feet in diameter, and 200 feet long! A machine pushes the distillers grain into the bags for us, and when we need some we use a tractor to take it out of the end of the bag.
This time our distillers grain is coming from Marion. South Dakota has 15 ethanol plants that produce one billion gallons of ethanol each year. These plants provide 1900 jobs and add 3.8 billion dollars to our state's economic output. With the projection of a record corn crop, and almost half of the corn harvested will go towards ethanol.
Ethanol is just one source of renewable energy that we can produce right here in South Dakota! With 2.7 million metric tons of ddgs produced each year just in South Dakota, ethanol production provides another high quality ingredient to add an animals’ diet. From fuel to food, ethanol and it's co-products are put to good use on our farm.
Sources: SD Corn, ProExporter, SD Ethanol Producers Assoc.,