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Dairy farmers find value in ethanol co-product


Dairy farmers and livestock producers from southern Missouri gathered at the McCallister Farm near Manes, Mo., recently to explore nutritional considerations, storage techniques and the economic advantages for feeding livestock distillers grains, an ethanol co-product high in protein, energy and phosphorus. Sponsored by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and University of Missouri Extension, the field day drew a crowd of 75 producers and guests from across the state.

"As a feed source, distillers grains offer economic and nutritional benefits to Missouri's livestock producers," said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Corn director of business development. "This field day allowed dairy producers to see those benefits firsthand. We hope they will take advantage of this value-added feed and apply what they learned at this event in their own operations."

During the field day, producers learned the proper storage and handling techniques for dried distillers grains from the McCallisters, who utilize the ethanol co-product in their operation. David McCroskey, a dairy and beef nutrition consultant with Richards Brothers in Mountain Grove, Mo., was also on hand to answer questions. Distillers grains for the event were donated by LifeLine Foods, a majority farmer-owned ethanol plant in St. Joseph, Mo., and lunch was provided by MCMC.

"DDGs have generated savings for our operation by providing us with a real quality product and allowing us to cut back on other feedstocks," said Stacey McCallister, dairy farmer and host of the field day. "By working with livestock producers, Missouri's ethanol industry is helping bring quality feed to the southern region of the state, keeping a valuable pro duct here at home and bringing multiple sectors of agriculture closer. In these tough economic times we all need to work together. Nobody else is going to stick up for us but ourselves."

Livestock producers who were unable to attend the field day can learn more about corn co-products through a series of distillers grains guides produced by MCMC and other industry partners. A storage manual for distillers grains is available online at www.mocorn.org under the market development tab or by calling the Missouri Corn office at 800-827-4181. Information on the purchase and feeding of ethanol co-products to Missouri beef cattle is also available online.

The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council was established in 1978 to enhance the profitability of corn production by investing checkoff dollars in market development, research and education programs. For more information on Missouri Corn activities, please browse www.mocorn.org or call 800-827-4181.

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