Dry distillers grains a viable feed alternative
By DONNA FARRIS, For Farm & Ranch Guide
Recent research at South Dakota State University confirms that dry distillers grains are a viable feed alternative, although operators may need to make adjustments in order to use the feed to its highest efficiency, said Cody Wright, South Dakota State University beef specialist.
SDSU undertook distillers grain research projects because of the rapidly expanding ethanol industry in South Dakota and the surrounding region.
“We’re continually seeing more and more plants being built and coming on line, and as a result we’ve got distillers grains as a very readily available resource for the livestock industry,” Wright said.
While other universities are also studying distillers grains, there isn’t a large body of research available, Wright said.
“We wanted to do some things to try to figure out how best and most economically to incorporate distillers grains into beef cattle diets,” he said.
For the past five years, SDSU researchers have worked on a number of studies.
“We’ve pretty much got it spread throughout our department and even across species. We’re doing a fair amount of swine work and even some sheep work now trying to incorporate distillers grains into those diets,” Wright said. “We look at animal performance, digestibility, nutrient output and economics and really try to figure out what’s the optimum use of that new feed for different classes of livestock.”