Pass the (Biofuel) Leftovers, Please

Survey shows more than 1/3 of livestock producers in the Midwest feed ethanol by-products.

With more corn going to ethanol production, more livestock producers are saying pass the leftovers, please. More than 1/3 of livestock farms in the Midwest used ethanol by-products in 2006, reports the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

Dairy farmers lead the pack with 38% feeding ethanol by-products to their herd. Distiller dried grains and other ethanol leftovers are also used at 36% of cattle-on-feed operations, 13% of beef cattle operations and 12% of hog operations.

"The facts back up Corn Growers' assertion that we can and will meet the needs of the livestock industry even with the rapid expansion of ethanol production," says Wendell Shauman, chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

Corn gluten feed is used by 46% of beef cow farms and 38% of cattle on feed operations. Most farmers purchase ethanol by-products from feed companies or co-ops but many cattle-on-feed operations bought directly from processing plants.

Livestock farmers not currently using ethanol by-products say availability is the primary impediment. The information comes from a survey of 9,000 farmers across the Midwest.

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