MATRIC publishes book on feeding distillers grains

The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) at Iowa State University has published a book on using distillers grains, a co-product of biofuels production, as a feedstuff for livestock and poultry. The book is only available online at www.matric.iastate.edu/DGbook and is free for downloading.

The book, “Using Distillers Grains in the U.S. and International Livestock and Poultry Industries,” was edited by Bruce Babcock, Dermot Hayes and John Lawrence, all professors of economics at Iowa State University. The editors invited internationally renowned experts in animal science, economics, trade, and transportation and logistics from Iowa State and six other universities to share their knowledge and the latest research about distillers grains.

Chapters cover nutrition and live animal performance of beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and poultry when fed various distillers grain products. Storage, shelf life and transportation issues are included, as are new technologies on the horizon and challenges remaining in the use of distillers grains. Two chapters discuss the trade value of U.S. distiller grains in small and large international markets.

A chapter on ingredient value and cost includes an online calculator program. Livestock and poultry producers can use the calculator to determine their best-cost diet in the context of current market supply and demand and balanced nutrient content for a specific animal species. Feed distributors can use the calculator to determine appropriate pricing of a feed ingredient.

“This book is a comprehensive, solid resource on all aspects of distillers grains feeding, handling and marketing,” said Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “Distillers grains are a valuable source of protein and energy that can be an economical addition to feed rations. Providing Iowa’s livestock producers with these guidelines and tools will enhance the feeding of ethanol co-products.”

MATRIC is an affiliate of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. MATRIC funds interdisciplinary research projects in agribusiness and trade.

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