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01 Introduction

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User Handbook
A G U I D E T O D I S T I L L E R ’ S D R I E D G R A I N S W I T H S O L U B L E S
(
D D G S
)

01 - Introduction
An Introduction to U.S. DDGS

Distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is a valuable feed ingredient which is a co-
product of drymill ethanol production from grains. In ethanol production, the starch is fermented
to obtain ethyl alcohol, but the remaining components of the grain kernel (endosperm, germ),
preserve much of the original nutritional value of the grain, including energy, protein and
phosphorous. Drymill plants recover and recombine these components into a variety of animal
feed ingredients. DDGS is a popular dried form of these combined components, available to
domestic and international customers as an ingredient for livestock and poultry rations. As the
U.S. ethanol industry continues to grow, a greater quantity of DDGS will be available for feeds
in the domestic and export market and a wider diversity of distiller’s co-products with different
nutritional characteristics will become available for specific animal feeding applications.

Corn is the primary feedstock for drymill ethanol production in the United States. In certain
locations sorghum and other grains may also be used. Every bushel of grain (25.4 kg of corn and
sorghum, slightly different weight for other grains) in the process produces 11.8 liters (2.7
gallons) of ethanol and 7.7 kg (18 pounds) of DDGS. The ethanol industry in the United States is
expanding rapidly, resulting in a fast-growing supply of DDGS in the marketplace. In January
2007, the Renewable Fuels Association reported that 112 operating drymill ethanol plants have a
combined capacity of 5.53 billion gallons of ethanol annually, and that 83 more plants are either
under construction or expanding, which could add another 6.0 billion gallons of production
capacity within the next two years. DDGS production from these ethanol plants reached 8.5
million metric tons in calendar year 2006, and is expected to climb to 36 million tons by 2010.
DDGS offers an opportunity for cost savings in animal feed rations, and will be available in


abundant quantities in coming years.

This DDGS User Handbook is intended as a guide to feed manufacturers and animal producers,
enabling them to understand how DDGS may fit into feed rations for livestock, poultry and fish,
and how to purchase and handle DDGS. The handbook includes information on current research
regarding DDGS use in cattle, swine, poultry, fish and companion animals. Other chapters
describe the variability and measurement of nutritional characteristics of DDGS, and provide
information on buying DDGS from the United States.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) provides these feeding recommendations to assist potential buyers in
understanding generally-accepted feeding levels. However, all rations for specific herds should be formulated by a
qualified nutritionist. The USGC has no control over the nutritional content of any specific product which may be
selected for feeding. Potential buyers should consult an appropriate nutritionist for specific recommendations.
USGC makes no warranties that these recommendations are suitable for any particular herd or for any particular
animal. The USGC disclaims any liability for itself or its members for any problems encountered in the use of these
recommendations. By reviewing this material, buyers agree to these limitations and waive any claims against USGC
for liability arising out of this material.


For more information, please contact the U.S. Grains Council at 202-789-0789 or email
grains@grains.org
. You may also visit our website at www.grains.org.

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