Pelletized Distillers Grain

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red

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Ethanol Byproducts Pelletized
By Drovers news source (6/27/2007)

One hundred percent of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a byproduct of ethanol production, can be pelletized without adding a binding agent or anything else, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

ARS agricultural engineeer Kurt Rosentrater has turned DDGS from corn-based ethanol production into high-quality pellets using processing equipment at a commercial feed mill. And the heating used in pelletizing did not harm the high-protein, low-starch nutrient content. Rosentrater is at the ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Brookings, S.D. He does this research with colleagues at ARS and at nearby South Dakota State University.

Cattle feed is currently the primary outlet for distiller's grain. But other livestock such as swine and poultry can also eat it. To date, there are no commercial DDGS pellets available for livestock, which limits the byproduct’s use in rangeland settings. DDGS is the protein, fat, fiber, unconverted starch and ash left over after ethanol production.

Fish raised for food in the growing aquaculture industry eat pelletized feed, but those pellets contain commercial fish meal as a protein source, not the less-expensive distiller's grain. Rosentrater is experimenting with adding soy and corn flour to distiller's grain to produce pelletized feeds, to see how far he can reduce the fish meal—or if he can eliminate it entirely.

This pelletizing work also promises to solve a growing problem of product deterioration—as well as hardening and caking problems during shipping and storage, which can clog the various chutes and bins that DDGS flows through. With an increasing supply of the byproduct, ethanol plants have to ship it greater distances to reach markets.

South Dakota, one of the country's biggest ethanol-producing states, expects to produce a billion gallons of ethanol to fuel vehicles next year—about the entire nation's production in 1999. Today, nationwide ethanol production is more than five billion gallons a year, and that amount will increase as new plants come online.

Ethanol plants are spreading outside of the Corn Belt, with plants now in New York and California, for example.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Source: USDA-ARS


 

knabe

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good post red.  i seem to remember there may be a problem with them though and feedlots are testing lots as they are extremely variable for phosphorus and must be balanced.  also a problem in the manure because the phosphorus goes up as well, which is a runoff problem, and or nitrogen fertilizer balancing issue as well.  a good nutritionsist will address this problem though.
 

shortyjock89

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knabe said:
good post red.  i seem to remember there may be a problem with them though and feedlots are testing lots as they are extremely variable for phosphorus and must be balanced.  also a problem in the manure because the phosphorus goes up as well, which is a runoff problem, and or nitrogen fertilizer balancing issue as well.  a good nutritionsist will address this problem though.

I think that you have to feed a balancer with it to neutralize the phosphorus, if you feed above a certain percentage.  If you don't feed it, you will have runoff problems, as you said knabe, and I think that there could be adverse effects for the cattle too.  I'm probably wrong, lol, but I tried.
 

red

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well it would solve the bunk life storage problems if they could do a pellet. Also another source of jobs or increase revenue for feed mills.

Red
 

stick

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I'd love to be able to get it in pellets, but around here it is hauled away from the plants fast enough there isn't a need o pellet it.
 

sjcattleco

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There is so much talk about DDG here in Ohio now that the plans for 3-4 new ethanol plants are under way... My thoughts are if you have gotten along with out them why start now?? If you need some sort of supplemental feed for your cows you better find different cows.... Even if DDG is totally free it will still raise cost of production in some way.. either more labor, time, or equipment....Nothing all that good will come out of ethanol production for the cow calf producer here in Ohio IMO...
 

justintime

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With land costs soaring, distiller's by products are a very economical way to increase the number of cows you can run on the same land base. We  fed the stillage produced by a distillery close to us for about 15 years, and we literally tripled the numbers of cows we could run on our farm. The stillage was usually corn based and it was liquid enough  that it was pumped into troughs to be fed. We have a creek that runs through our home pasture and I never saw a cow drink water while we were feeding this product. We normally ran about 20-25 cows on this pasture, but often had 75 - 80 pairs on it when we were feeding the stillage. This was a great during breeding season as the cows came into the pens at least twice a day to drink stillage, and those in heat could be easily sorted off to be AI bred at that time. Another benefit was that the cows milked extremely well on it and were always in great shape. It also allowed us to keep our better cows for a few more years, as all they had to do was stand at the trough and drink, to get nutrition. We had several cows that lasted until they were 18-20 years old, and still raised a good calf.During the time we fed stillage, we increased our cow herd to over300 cows on a land base that normally would handle about 100 cows, using conventional feeding. The stillage was delivered to our farm and stored in a 7000 gallon insulated tank that we rented from the distillery for a very nominal cost.It cost us 1 cent a gallon delivered in our yard, and it was usually just a few degrees below boiling when it arrived. This allowed us to  feed it through out cold winters without having it freeze up. When it was pumped into the feeding troughs, the cows would wait until it had cooled down before they would drink it. On extremely cold days we just kept the circulating pump running and we never had a freeze up problem.
The distillery closed a few years ago and it has just re-opened as an ethanol plant. They are drying down the by products to a mash, and a large feedlot has contracted it and using it as a protien source in their rations. They are trucking it about 50 miles and still feel it is a cheap protien source. At the present time, the feedlot cannot take all this by product so it is just being spread on the surrounding fields as a source of fertilizer. I have inquired bout feeding it again, however, they are wanting someone to take all their surplus product, not just part of it. The ethanol plant has long term plans to pellet this product, but so far they are only concentrating on producing ethanol.
I am not sure what some of the US and Canadian ethanol plants are selling their pelleted by products for today, but I assume they are going to be priced competively with other feed sources. They may be priced to high for you to use as  a way to increase your cow herd, but it certainly is worth your time to look at anyways.
 

Ag Man

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SJ you might want to reconsider....DDGs are an EXCELLENT source of protein, easy on the GI tract when handled properly and cattle love 'em...slick em right up.

We have used them for the past 8 or so years and totally replaced SBM.  Last year we had a very tight hay supply including alfalfa...switched to DDGs where we could...some wintering areas don't have bunks...cattle performed excellent...in fact after a terrible winter replacement heifers and 1st calf heifers came through fleshy...synched right up

As a previous poster said the plants around wouldn't have time to make pellets because the trucks are lined up to haul it away as soon as it is ready...BTW we use the dry but if you move it quickly...ie you feed a lot (100's of head)...wet is cheaper

 

bluegrass

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Around here we have a lot of bourbon distilleries (wild turkey, four roses, makers mark, etc.) they will give the wet stuff away if you haul it off. I am not currently set up to feed the stuff but have been looking in to it and hope to be using it by winter. I am told it has 2 lbs of grain to every gallon of water and have seen some fat cows that love it.
 
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