Animal Feed

Did you know that 1/3 of the corn used in ethanol production returns to the market as livestock feed?

Field corn has dozens of uses, but it is most commonly fed to animals or used to make renewable fuels like ethanol to power our cars and trucks. But only part of the kernel is used for ethanol (the starch), the rest of the kernel, including the protein and fat, are then used to make another popular animal feed known as distillers grains.


Dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) are a high-value livestock feed and a co-product of dry-mill ethanol production. Corn gluten feed is produced at Nebraska’s wet milling ethanol plants. Both of these products have been critical to the success and profitability of Nebraska ethanol plants because of the size and proximity of Nebraska’s cattle industry. The immediate availability of a market for these feed products has been a major factor in attracting the ethanol industry to Nebraska.

It has not just been ethanol producers who have benefited. Feeding these co-products to cattle generates an economic benefit of more than $52 million to Nebraska each year. Dried_Distillers_Grains_close_upThanks to feeding trials sponsored in part by the Nebraska Ethanol Board, DDGS and corn gluten feed have become widely accepted among Nebraska’s beef producers as a preferred ingredient in their animal rations.  In fact, DDGS have replaced soybean meal as the second largest livestock feed component, second behind corn.

Nebraska Cattleman (Pgs 26-31): Tracking the Evolution of a Beef State Advantage

Did you know you can bake with DDGs (dried distillers grains)?cropped-chocolate-chip-cookies-stacked

Numerous studies demonstrate the DDGs, at varying levels, can be substituted for a portion of flour or added in leavened products, baked goods, biscuits, cookies and batters. DDGs contain approximately 40 percent fiber and 30 percent protein, which enhances the fiber and protein content of the food product.

For recipes that incorporate DDGs, click here or here.