Growing Iowa's Cattle Industry: Ethanol, Opportunities, and Economic Development

John Lawrence, Faculty, Economics Department


Iowas ethanol production industry is increasing rapidly and is expected to grow significantly in the future. Distillers grains and soluables (DGS) is a co-product of ethanol production and a feedstuff that has a higher feed value than corn when used in beef feedlot rations. Opportunities exist to expand cattle feeding in Iowa due to the low cost DGS and higher cost to grow or transport feed to other cattle feeding regions.


A conference was held June 5 in the Iowa Farm Bureau Auditorium and was attended by over 200 people to hear from a dozen speakers addressing the objectives and topics described above.  The materials are posted to the Iowa Beef Center website and video presentations by the featured speakers are on line and available on DVD.

The immediate feed back on the conference based on evaluations was very positive. Extension field specialists regularly receive requests for information on expanding or starting a new beef feedlot and they can supply information that as prepared for the conference. Additional programming on starting and managing a feedlot is being developed.

September 2006

107 Iowa Beef Center

Page last updated: October 4, 2006
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