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USGC: First-ever DDGS trials indicate long-term potential in Australia

A sample of 45.7 metric tons of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product of U.S. ethanol production, marked the first-ever exports of U.S. DDGS to Australia on Nov. 25, 2008. Since then, the U.S. Grains Council worked cooperatively with Australian feed supplier CopRice, conducting feeding and milling trials using DDGS pellets in dairy cattle rations in the South West Victoria and New South Whales regions of Australia. According to Adel Yusupov, USGC regional director in Southeast Asia, the preliminary feeding trials suggest DDGS can be included in dairy rations up to 20 percent without any adverse effect on milk production. The milling trials showed DDGS can be included in pelletized high protein, high energy rations with no negative impact to the milling process.

"We are not surprised with these results. Time and time again, the Council has orchestrated DDGS feeding trials throughout the world with great success," said Yusupov. "U.S. DDGS is a high quality feed ingredient and it was proven again in Australia."

CopRice contracted with two farmers, each milking 450 to 500 cows, totaling nearly 1,000 cows. Inclusion of DDGS was 0 percent, 5 percent and 10 percent at one farm. At the other, the inclusion was 0 percent, 5 percent, 15 percent and 20 percent. Rations were formulated to the same energy and protein contents as those without distillers grains. Upon completion of the trial, CopRice measured milk volume and output per cow, milk fat and milk protein content. The results were compared to the control diet and indicated no negative impact on milk production. The study offers potential for DDGS in Australia, but Yusupov said price competitiveness is a factor.

"This trial gives momentum to the long-term utilization of U.S. DDGS in livestock rations in Australia," Yusupov said. "If DDGS prove to be price competitive, I predict Australian end-users will incorporate the co-product into feed formulations. The price depends largely on shipping costs to Australia."

The DDGS sample was donated to CopRice from Council member Hawkeye Gold LLC in Ames, Iowa. Council member The DeLong Company Inc. of Clinton, Wis., donated trans-loading services for the shipment and the Council covered the freight costs.

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