Ethanol Blog

Distillers Grains a Good Choice for Energy in 2015-16

Cheryl Anderson
By  Cheryl Anderson , DTN Staff Reporter

Higher corn futures are now continuing to raise corn-derived energy to higher cost levels. In the coming year, livestock producers may want to consider alternative feeds such as distillers grains, according to an article by Farm and Ranch Guide (…).

Alfredo DiCostanzo, from the University of Minnesota Beef Team, said that corn and soy co-products such as distillers grains may be good alternatives to corn grain as energy sources in rations.

With current prices, corn-derived energy for cattle growth or maintenance will be priced at $158 to $176/ton total digestible nutrients (TDN), DiCostanzo said. With western Iowa modified distillers grains priced between $50 to $55/ton and wet distillers grains priced at $35 to $40/ton, energy from those sources costs $125 and $119/ton respectively.

At present, western Iowa modified and wet distillers grains are priced at $50 to $55/ton or $35 to $40/ton, according to the article. Energy derived from either source costs $124 and $119/ton TDN, respectively.

Except for several weeks in July, the value of distillers grains relative to corn had remained above 100% since mid-December 2014, sometimes rising as high as 120% to 130%, according to DTN statistics. Such high values caused some producers to drop distillers grains from their rations, as there was little incentive to choose distillers over corn.

The value of distillers grains relative to corn finally dipped below 100% in mid-September and has hovered around 86% for the past month.

These lower values have attracted interest and caused producers to reconsider distillers grains or increase the inclusion rates in rations.

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at



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