Members of corn and pork groups discussed a potential relationship between their industries through byproducts of ethanol production as hog feed at a Nov. 20 seminar in Des Moines, Iowa, titled "Distillers Grains: Implications for the U.S. Pork Industry."
"The real mission of the meeting was to explore the research needed to help the pork industry move forward with distillers grains," says Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.
The session focused on research dealing with distillers dried grains with solubles as feed for hogs, as well as the economic impacts of DDGS and ethanol production on feed prices.
According to the National Corn Growers Association, DDGS can reduce gut health problems and possibly increase litter size weaned and piglet growth rate, but much of the pork industry's concern about the growth of the ethanol industry deals with economics and rising feed prices. NCGA suggests that DDGS could provide a cheap feed alternative for pork producers.
"A couple of speakers pointed out corn yield improvements can help address much of the needed additional corn supply required to satisfy ethanol and livestock production," Hutchens says. "I felt it was a meeting that helped open doors of better communication and forward thinking to make sure we all understand the issues around the new paradigm of corn-to-ethanol with a coproduct that can be better utilized in swine rations with some changes in processing and application."