You see, our 15 modern ethanol plants produce far more than inexpensive alternative fuel. They also produce co-products like distillers grains—about six pounds for every gallon of ethanol produced in a dry-mill plant.
And they produce a lot of it. Enough, in fact, that South Dakota livestock consumed 454 thousand metric tons of the nutrient-rich feedstuff in 2008. Which places South Dakota’s cattle producers, pork producers and dairy operations among our best customers. (South Dakota’s DDGS suppliers like them too!)
This economical feed has become a key nutrition source for the livestock industry. And for plenty of good reasons. Distillers grains can replace other protein sources in livestock diets. The alternative feed also contains highly digestible fiber and fat, giving it an energy value similar to or slightly higher than corn. And the moisture content in wet distillers grain helps condition dry rations.
Dry mill ethanol facilities also produce carbon dioxide for use in food processing and bottling industries. And every bushel of corn processed in a wet-mill ethanol plant yields high-value gluten feed, high-protein gluten meal and corn oil.