Feeding Corn Co-Products Educational Information

Dale Thoreson, Field Specialist Dairy/Beef/Forages, Northeast

Problem Statement:

The ethanol industry has grown to over 13.3 billion gallons in the US by the end of 2008. This has resulted in a major increase in availability of corn Co-Products for livestock feed. Current feeding rates will only use about 20 million ton annually of the 111.35 million ton available. The livestock industry (especially dairy and feedlot) is positioned to strategically to increase use of co-products especially given there are 11 ethanol plants operating or near start up in Northeast Iowa.

Programmatic Response:

VeraSun and Hawkeye Renewables recently completed 110 million gallon ethanol plants at Charles City and Fairbank. Extension offered to conduct informational programs for dairy and beef producers in each of their trade areas. The program with VeraSun attracted 150 client, 30 who attended the dairy breakout, while the Nashua program with Hawkeye Renewables attracted 60 clients, 15 in the dairy breakout.  These became part of the 64 distillers’ meetings attended by 2955 people throughout the state of Iowa who were surveyed by ISUE.


349 respondents returned surveys following the distillers meetings. Respondents were from the beef sector and represented both cow-calf and feedlot portions to Stat Ag Census data.  Of the cow-calf producers currently not using corn co-products, over 80% of those with 50 or more cows plan to use co-products in the future. Feedlot owners up to 1000 head indicated 95% plan to use co-products. 64% of cow-calf and 59% of feedlots said they would feed more corn co-products in the future. Most respondents (27% and 22%) stated these workshops were worth between $500 and $1000 to them. The primary disadvantage of using co-products was storage (53% and 47%) and need for small amounts at a time. Future co-product information was preferred delivered by US mail and by extension sponsored meetings.


141 Feeding Distillers Grains

Page last updated: August 25, 2008
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu