Reduced feed costs with use of DDGS

By Dr. Hans H. Stein

January, 2011

Although the cost of DDGS has increased during the last 6 months, there are still significant savings associated with the use of DDGS in swine diets. DDGS will replace corn, soybean meal, and inorganic phosphorus sources in diets fed to pigs. Because the costs of these ingredients have increased more than the cost of DDGS, it is a good idea to include DDGS in the diets to help reduce feed costs. With current prices for corn, soybean meal, and DDGS, costs of swine diets are reduced by 7 to 9 dollars per ton for each 10% DDGS that are included in the diets (Figure 1). In most cases, 30% DDGS can be included in diets fed to all categories of pigs if an average or above average quality of DDGS is used and if diets are properly balanced for all nutrients. If 30% DDGS is included in diets fed to sows, weanling pigs, and growing-finishing pigs, the total cost savings by using DDGS is approximately 10 dollars per market pig produced.


A chart showing the costs of diets with different rates of inclusion of DDGS


The composition of DDGS may vary among different companies so it is recommended that producers source the DDGS from the same ethanol plant. If the company selling the DDGS is not willing to provide guarantees for the nutritional composition of DDGS, producers need to analyze the DDGS themselves. In particular, make sure the concentration of Lysine is not reduced to a level of less than 0.8% because that indicates that the DDGS has been heat damaged. The concentration of fat should also be analyzed. If DDGS contains less than 9% fat, this indicates that fat has been reduced from the product, which has also reduced the energy value of that source of DDGS.

However, most of the DDGS that is sold in Illinois is of an acceptable quality and can easily be included in diets fed to pigs. Many producers are using relatively high inclusion rates and by doing that, they take advantage of the cost savings that is associated with using DDGS.

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