Distillers dried grains with solubles is increasingly being recognized as a permanent and valuable component of the U.S. feed market, according to the National Corn Growers Association.
"There's much more structure and stability in the DDGS marketplace than ever before," says NCGA's Director of Ethanol and Business Development, Geoff Cooper, after attending the 11th annual Distillers Grains Council Technology Conference last week in Louisville, Ken. Many of the more than 200 attendees are directly involved in DDGS manufacturing or marketing, giving the conference more of a market focus than many similar meetings.
"There's an incredible amount of research being done on distillers grains – not just nutritional research – that people don't necessarily know about," Cooper says. "I think that research is really helping to move the industry forward and really helping the feed industry learn how to better utilize this product that's coming to market so rapidly."
Among the advancements Cooper cites include adoption of standardized analytical methods for DDGS, a formal check sample program, interest in a universal quick test for DDGS and numerous other innovations that are bringing more order to the market.
Dr. Nancy Theix, of South Dakota State University, presented the results of a year-long study on DDGS analytical methods jointly funded by NCGA, the American Feed Industry Association and Renewable Fuels Association. The study resulted in a report detailing a series of recommended analytical methods.
The conference also heard the latest developments in DDGS feed research, including reports on the use of higher levels of DDGS in swine feeding and the economic benefits associated with feeding DDGS to beef.