Ethanol Co-Products Educational Program

Beth Ellen Doran, beef field specialist
Within the past year, four dry-milling ethanol plants in Northwest Iowa have been constructed. In the refinery process, several co-products (dried distillers grains, wet distillers grains, dry distillers solubles and wet distillers solubles) may be produced. A big challenge of the ethanol plants is to quickly and effectively market these co-products. Producers are not as knowledgeable nor comfortable with the feeding of corn CO-products from a dry milling plant.


The Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, and Siouxland Energy and Livestock Cooperative (SELC) jointly sponsored an ethanol CO-products educational program on the afternoon of January 8th. The program focused upon storing CO-products on the farm (Kent Tjardes, South Dakota State University), using CO-products in feedlot rations (Dan Loy, ISU), managing manure nutrients from CO-products (Wendy Powers, ISU), and pricing CO-products (Beth Doran, ISU Extension). Included was a tour of the new SELC plant by Bernie Punt, manager of SELC. A total of 114 producers and agribusiness staff from Minnesota, South Dakota and 14 Iowa counties attended.

Pete Olson, ISU Extension beef field specialist, and Beth Doran, ISU Extension beef field specialist, developed a short pretest (15 points) to assay the knowledge of the program participants. The mean score was 10.3 points, with a range of 6 to 14 points. Less than 30% had experience in feeding any of the dry-milled corn CO-products Follow-up to this meeting included feature articles in the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, Iowa Farmer Today and the Tri-State Neighbor. Eight producers, one veterinary clinic and five feed companies requested informational materials. One of the feed companies planned to use this material in a couple of their publications. Another feed manufacturer teleconferenced with Doran and Loy about developing a supplement based upon wet distillers solubles.   

Shortly after this program, the Lyon County Cattlemen's board of directors met to plan their winter annual meeting. Paul Altena, president, contacted Doran to develop a presentation featuring sample rations utilizing wet distillers grains and wet distillers solubles. Twelve rations were put together at 54, 58, 60 and 62 Mcal of dietary energy and this information was presented to 35 producers on February 5th in Rock Rapids.

On July 10th, Kris Kohl, ISU Extension ag engineer field specialist, invited Doran to tour SELC with other Extension ag engineer field specialists. Two questions came up that day that we were able to resolve. One question involved the density of a cubic foot of high moisture corn. The other question was how to reduce the face of the corn pile to improve stability of the raw product.


Page last updated: July 8, 2006

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