Friday, September 16, 2011

Distillers Grains Plants

Ethanol plants should have originally been called distillers grains plants
producing a by-product of ethanol.
Distillers grains {in any form – dried, wet, modified} often gets forgotten about in a lot of discussions about ethanol. Recently, the House Agriculture Committee’s subcommittee on livestock, dairy and poultry, had a hearing to examine the issue of feed availability and its effect on the livestock and poultry industries.
Many representatives of the U.S. livestock and poultry industries testified before the subcommittee with concerns that changes in ethanol policy are necessary to ensure the availability of corn for animal feed.
When ethanol is made, it take one-third of the corn kernel – the starch portion that is not utilized by livestock – to create the alcohol needed for the fuel. Another third of the kernel goes to make CO2, while the remaining third is the value-added product we call distillers grains. This is a great feed source for livestock – and cheaper.
The reality is that ethanol producers are on track to produce nearly 40 million metric tons of livestock feed in 2011 – a volume greater than all the corn used on cattle feedlots all across the country. The ethanol industry wants to work with livestock producers to increase efficiency and usage of distillers grains.
Now, how do we try to remold these groups to start thinking of distillers grains production instead of just ethanol production. I don’t believe ethanol is going away – it’s a renewable fuel source that we’re going to need in the future. How do we communicate that this is just another form of feed production instead of a production thought of as taking food away from people and feed away from livestock?
Another good blog on the topic of ethanol incentives: VEETC is Dead. Get Over It.

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