DTN Weekly Distillers Grains Update

ISU Researchers Examine Sulfur's Effect on Trace Mineral Absorption

OMAHA (DTN) -- The inclusion of distillers grain in beef rations and its growing popularity has brought with it some concerns over levels of sulfur for cattle. That was the impetus for research at Iowa State University that has examined the effect of high sulfur diets on trace mineral absorption in cattle.

Dr. Stephanie Hansen, associate professor of animal science at Iowa State University, has a background in trace mineral nutrition and was interested in looking at some of the major challenges with sulfur, especially with high levels of dried distillers grains. Since sulfur has been known to decrease copper status in cattle, Hansen said she wanted to continue to pursue those concerns.

Cattle do require some sulfur in their diets, but too much sulfur begins to affect trace mineral absorption.

"When we get into that 0.3% or greater amount of sulfur in the diet, that's when we begin to see challenges for trace minerals like copper," she said.

Some areas in the Midwest or Western U.S. have high sulfate water that can contribute to total dietary sulfur as well. However, a lot of the sulfate comes from DDG, from solubles or even from corn gluten feed.

The concerns about sulfur in DDG by nutritionists and producers are nothing new. Many ethanol plants use sulfuric acid as a cleaning agent. Unfortunately, sometimes that sulfuric acid ends up as sulfur in the resulting DDG.

"A lot of the sulfur challenges in the distillers industry are due to plant-to-plant differences in how they use sulfuric acid," Hansen said.

Most ethanol plants perform a weekly analysis of their DDG and have that nutrient/mineral composition information available to producers for protein, fiber, dry matter, and minerals.

But one of the challenges of sulfur is that the load-to-load variations, even from the same plant can be very high.

"If you are a large feedlot, there might be a pretty good variation in sulfur, even among truckloads you brought in within a certain day," she said. "And certainly if you bring in distillers from different plants, the variation in sulfur use can be very high."

So how can producers keep a handle on whether their cattle are getting too much sulfur? Hansen said she tells producer to get in the habit of grabbing a Ziploc bag-sized sample of DDG each time a load comes in and throwing it in the freezer.

"If a week later you didn't have any problems that came up from feeding that load to cattle, you can throw it away," she said. "But if something did happen, you have a sample you can send to the vet for analysis."

Hansen added that ethanol plants understand the sulfur challenge and work very closely with their merchandisers and nutritionists to mitigate risks. If a plant has performed a clean-out and know they have used sulfuric acid, merchandisers share that information to the nutritionist. That way, if a load is a little bit higher in sulfur, they can blend it down with a previous load that was lower in sulfur and lessen the risk.

Some merchandisers told DTN that it is not very common these days that there are problems with sulfur, but in the case that a high sulfur level is found, it is disclosed and sold at a discount. Others said it is sold/discounted on a case-by-case basis, but that DDG with higher sulfur content is usually not sold to cattle producers, but to swine or chicken producers. Pigs and chicken are not as affected by sulfur as cattle.


Trace minerals are important for skeletal growth, muscle growth and immune function in cattle, as well as in reproduction. The four trace minerals Hansen and fellow researchers are most interested in, in regards to sulfur, are copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.

Several trace minerals may become bound up by sulfur in the rumen so they are not available for absorption by the animal and draw down the trace mineral status of the animal over time. Those trace minerals actually form a chemical complex such as copper sulfide or zinc sulfide with the sulfur, adhering to the sulfur so the minerals are not available for absorption and pass right through the animal.

So the researchers looked at what happens with trace minerals in a low-sulfur control diet compared to a high-sulfur diet.

Although Hansen said she is really just getting started on this line of research, so far, the researchers are finding that sulfur decreases cooper and zinc status in cattle.

She added that in the end this research may also have impact on the cowherd, even though they are doing the studies with growing cattle in a feedlot.

"Even though a cow is wintered in a dry lot, she won't necessarily show signs of sulfur toxicity because she is on a high forage diet," she said. "But what you can't see is that her liver is slowly being depleted of trace minerals like copper and zinc."

But equally alarming is that calves depend heavily on trace minerals to support them when they are born.

"If we have poor trace mineral status in the cow, that's going to translate to potentially poor health in that young calf," she said. "We need to give those calves every chance we can to have a healthy start, especially when they're worth what they are today."

Hansen said she and other ISU researchers are also looking at alternate delivery forms of trace minerals that prevent harmful interactions with sulfur.

One method is to bypass the gut altogether with a product called Multimin 90, which is an injectable trace mineral that has copper, zinc, manganese and selenium in it. Researchers at ISU have done research with Multimin 90 in the past and found it quickly increases the trace mineral status of the animal. However, this will be the first time they will be using it in connection with high-sulfur diets.

"We want to see if that would be a way cattle producers or feedlot managers could overcome high sulfur in their diets and increase the animal's trace mineral status so the effect of sulfur won't be as dramatic on them," she said. "We're just going to put it straight into the bloodstream so it gets stored in the liver. Then whatever they don't need they just excrete."

The other method to be studied is using a source of trace minerals called hydroxy minerals produced by Micronutrients that don't go into the solution at the pH normally found in the rumen. These products don't release their trace minerals in the rumen, but do so later in the low pH of the abomasum, so they may not interact with the sulfur.

"If they don't go into the solution in the rumen, they still can be available for absorption in the intestine. It's like the injectable route, except we're still feeding it in the diet," she said.

Hansen said she has just gotten some funding for this line of research and will be continuing in the future.

Although the research has not been published yet, anyone interested can go to the Iowa Beef Center's website (www.iowabeef.org), which has a wealth of information on research, as well as a fact sheet about dealing with sulfur that specifically relates to distillers grains.

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.



Council Reaches Out to Algerian Corn, DDGS Buyers

A recent conference focused on corn and dried distillers grains with solubles to help the U.S. Grains Council reach buyers in Algeria, according to an article by the Council (http://bit.ly/…).

Since Algeria depends on corn imports, the conference aimed to help grain buyers consider the advantages of U.S. feed ingredients. Algeria is an important market. Its total international imports rose from 2.8 million metric tons in 2010 to 4.1 mmt in 2014.

However, Algeria only purchased about 64,426 metric tons of U.S. corn in 2010, then none until the country bought 76,000 mt in 2014 and more than 238,000 mt in the first half of 2015.

The Council addressed some of the concerns of Algerian buyers, such as complaints over excessive dust in U.S. corn, as well as the preference of Algerian poultry farmers for Argentinian corn which has a red tinge to the kernel color.

Speakers at the conference included Noureddine Karim, president of the feed producers association in Morocco, who shared his knowledge and experience of feeding U.S. corn and DDGS, as well as Charles Rush, the U.S. agricultural attache in Algeria in Algeria, and and Wayne Bacon, the Council's consultant in Europe.

Approximately 40 Algerian importers and industry representatives attended the conference.

Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs, said that the Council is working to build demand in Algeria by "educating buyers on the U.S. grading and contracting systems to help them get the quality they need."

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.



COMPANY STATE 10/2/2015 9/25/2015 CHANGE
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
Missouri Dry $148 $148 $0
Modified $65 $65 $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
Illinois Dry $130 $135 -$5
Indiana Dry $115 $130 -$15
Iowa Dry $110 $120 -$10
Michigan Dry $120 $135 -$15
Minnesota Dry $115 $115 $0
North Dakota Dry $115 $120 -$5
New York Dry $160 $155 $5
South Dakota Dry $115 $115 $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
Kansas Dry $125 $135 -$10
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
Indiana Dry $125 $130 -$5
Iowa Dry $115 $120 -$5
Michigan Dry $130 $135 -$5
Minnesota Dry $110 $115 -$5
Missouri Dry $130 $135 -$5
Ohio Dry $130 $130 $0
South Dakota Dry $110 $115 -$5
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
Kansas Dry $130 $130 $0
Wet $50 $50 $0
Illinois Dry $136 $142 -$6
Nebraska Dry $130 $130 $0
Wet $50 $50 $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
Illinois Dry $120 $130 -$10
Indiana Dry $115 $120 -$5
Iowa Dry $105 $110 -$5
Michigan Dry $115 $120 -$5
Minnesota Dry $100 $105 -$5
Nebraska Dry $115 $115 $0
New York Dry $140 $145 -$5
North Dakota Dry $110 $105 $5
Ohio Dry $115 $120 -$5
South Dakota Dry $105 $105 $0
Wisconsin Dry $120 $120 $0
Valero Energy Corp., San Antonio, TX (402-727-5300)
Indiana Dry $110 $115 -$5
Iowa Dry $105 $110 -$5
Minnesota Dry $105 $105 $0
Nebraska Dry $110 $115 -$5
Ohio Dry $125 $130 -$5
South Dakota Dry $100 $105 -$5
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
California Dry $180 $190 -$10
*Prices listed per ton.
Weekly Average $118 $122 -$4
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

*The spot prices gathered by DTN are only intended to reflect general market trends and may vary. Please contact individual plant or merchandiser for exact prices.

If you would be willing to take a weekly phone call and have your distiller grains spot prices listed in this feature, please contact Cheryl Anderson at (308) 224-1527 or (800) 369-7875, or e-mail cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.


Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton
Corn 10/1/2015 $3.8875 $138.84
Soybean Meal 10/1/2015 $302.60
DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $118.00
DDG Value Relative to: 10/2 9/27 9/18
Corn 84.99% 89.54% 105.48%
Soybean Meal 39.00% 40.34% 41.39%
Cost Per Unit of Protein:
DDG $4.72 $4.88 $5.24
Soybean Meal $6.37 $6.37 $6.66
Corn and soybean prices taken from DTN Market Quotes. DDG
price represents the average spot price from Midwest
companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal
cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5.
DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 25.




Dried Modified Wet
Iowa 115.00-130.00 50.00-65.00 35.00-40.00
Minnesota 115.00-140.00 60.00 36.00-40.00
Nebraska 115.00-149.00 65.00-70.00 46.00-55.00
South Dakota 110.00-118.00 55.00-65.50 38.00-43.00
Wisconsin 130.00-145.00 57.00-60.00 NQ
Eastern Corn Belt 121.00-150.00 50.00-63.00 NQ
Kansas 135.00-160.00 NQ 45.00-65.00
Northern Missouri 130.00-148.00 NQ 40.00-42.00
CIF NOLA 145.00-161.00
Pacific Northwest 162.00-170.00
California 165.00-175.00
Texas Border (metric ton) 185.00-200.00
Lethbridge AB 140.00
Chicago 130.00-145.00

Dried Distillers Grain: 10% Moisture

Modified Wet Distillers: 50-55% Moisture

Wet Distillers Grains: 65-70% Moisture


Distillers Dry Grains

  Rail to California Points          174.00   dn 4.00-21.00
  FOB Truck to California Points     175.00   dn 7.00-20.00


Offers for Distillers Dried Grains delivered in September by rail to feed mills in the Pacific Northwest were steady to 2.00 lower from 171.00-180.00. Offers for distillers dried grains trans-loaded onto trucks and delivered to Willamette Valley dairies were steady to 2.00 lower from 189.00-195.00.

*All prices quoted per ton unless otherwise noted.



Dry and Wet Mill, Co-products and Products Produced - United States

June 2015 - August 2015

Sep 1, 2015


Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.94 million tons during August 2015, down 3 percent from July 2015 and down 2 percent from June 2015. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.15 million tons in August 2015, up 1 percent from July 2015 and up 1 percent from June 2015.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 343.5 thousand tons during August 2015, up 3 percent from July 2015 and up 7 percent from June 2015. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 290.7 thousand tons in August 2015, down 8 percent from July 2015 and down 5 percent from June 2015.

Co-products and Products May 2015 Jun 2015 Jul 2015
Dry Mill tons
Condensed distillers solubles (CDS-syrup) 145,244 149,927 155,218
Corn oil 120,582 125,497 121,810
Distillers dried grains (DDG) 407,259 450,829 452,969
Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) 1,976,508 2,000,851 1,943,205
Modified distillers wet grains (DWG) <65% moisture 1,136,491 1,137,600 1,151,047
Modified distillers wet grains (DWG) 40-64% moisture 367,092 350,460 341,837
Wet Mill
Corn germ meal 63,188 68,528 66,563
Corn gluten feed 321,209 333,828 343,476
Corn gluten meal 92,237 97,130 96,072
Corn oil 51,281 53,364 52,514
Wet corn gluten feed 40-60% moisture 214,995 225,675 217,778



CO-PRODUCT OUTPUTS (metric tons)
Week Ending Distillers Grains Corn Gluten Feed Corn Gluten Meal Total Feed Corn Oil (lbs.)
9/04/15 94671 9787 1812 106270 5635945
9/11/15 94967 9818 1818 106603 5653594
9/18/15 92695 9583 1775 104052 5518284
9/30/15 93189 9634 1784 104606 5547700

*Information from 2010 Weekly U.S. Fuel Ethanol/Livestock Feed Production report (http://www.ethanolrfa.org/…)




*Distillers Grains Technology Council


*National Corn Growers Association Corn Distillers Grains Brochure


*Iowa Corn


Nebraska Corn Board


*Renewable Fuels Association - Ethanol Co-Products


*American Coalition for Ethanol


*U.S. Grains Council


*South Dakota Corn Utilization Council


Government Sites

*Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship/Office of Renewable Fuels & Coproducts


University Sites

*University of Minnesota - Distillers Grains By-Products in Livestock

and Poultry Feed


*University of Illinois - Illinois Livestock Integrated Focus Team Distillers Grains site


*University of Nebraska - Beef Cattle Production By-Product Feeds site


*University of Nebraska Extension


*Iowa Beef Center - Iowa State University


*University of Missouri - Byproducts Resource Page


*South Dakota State University - Dairy Science Department - Dairy cattle research


(select "Distillers Grains" from the topic menu)

*Purdue University Renewable Energy Web Site


(select "Biofuels Co-Products from the menu)



*Distillers Grains Technology Council Inc.'s 19th Annual Distillers Grains Symposium

The Distillers Grains Technology Council will hold its 19th Annual Distillers Grains Symposium on May 13-14, 2015 at the Sheraton Crown Center at Kansas City, Missouri. For information, contact the DGTC office at (515) 294-4019 or (800) 759-3448, or check the DGTC website (http://www.distillersgrains.org).

(If you are sponsoring or know of any event, conference or workshop on distillers grains, and would like to list it in the DTN Weekly Distillers Grains Update, please contact Cheryl Anderson (see contact info below).


We welcome any comments/suggestions for this feature. Please let us know what information is valuable to you that we could include in the Distillers Grains Weekly Update. Please feel free to contact Cheryl Anderson at (402) 364-2183, or e-mail cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.