My degree is in agricultural communications, and I wrote a beef book, so I’m fascinated with distillers grains, a byproduct of whiskey and fuel ethanol production. My great grandpa fed distillers grains to his hogs in Ada, Oklahoma, and they’ve long been fed to American cattle.
In 1907, the United States studied distillers grains in cattle production and essentially learned the grains used in distillation were decent replacements for dry grains. After further research, they’ve learned the nutrient composition of distillers grains have three-fold the protein of dry grains. Distillation removes the starch in the corn, and give cattle bitefulls of fat and protein. Yum!
Distillers grain also gives bourbon producers another revenue stream. The USDA maintains a weekly distillers grain report here, but it’s not all roses for distillers grains.
Prices have dramatically declined in 2014. Distiller grain prices dropped more than $125/ton in the Spring, because China placed a ban on U.S. distillers grains earlier this year due to the GMO traits.
So, it’s okay for China to accept the bourbon but not the distillers grains?
We all have our priorities!
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