Ethanol Blog

Distillers Grains Remain Good Alternative to Corn for Feedlots

Cheryl Anderson
By  Cheryl Anderson , DTN Staff Reporter

Distillers grains will continue to be a great choice for feedlots trying to fill their pens, a speaker stated at a recent livestock conference, according to an article by Midwest Producer (…).

Speakers shared a number of tips on livestock markets, feedstuffs, and animal health and welfare at the Feeding Quality Forum held in August in Omaha, Neb. and Garden City, Kan.

Some speakers talked about livestock numbers being down, but cattle predictions are looking bullish considering long-term estimates of lower corn prices due to accumulating stocks and declining land values that could prompt a shift of acreage back to grass and forage.

The possibility of herd expansions after drought-forced culling in recent years was also addressed.

Galen Erickson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension feedlot specialist, said that feeding distillers grains continues to be a good alternative to corn, particularly wet distillers grain with solubles.

Erickson said the feed value of WDGS is more than 130% that of corn at inclusion rates of up to 40%. Although WDGS weighs more because of its high moisture content, that is compensated by cutting back on oil. He added that recent research has found little impact on feed value of WDGS.

In fact, research Erickson headed in 2011 found that WDGS improved cattle performance, but also lowered greenhouse emissions, thereby improving the life cycle analysis of ethanol versus gasoline.

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at

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