High corn prices are not only affecting pork producers, they also are causing processors to reduce ethanol production, which cuts into the distillers’ dried grains with solubles supply.

DDGS has typically been priced at 75 percent to 85 percent of the value of corn, making it a good alternative ingredient to reduce feed costs.  However, the ethanol co-product is now being priced around 100 percent of the value of corn, making it less attractive.

DDGS quality also will be a wild card with the drought-challenged 2012 corn crop. “The drought will likely cause aflatoxin production in corn in some areas, and perhaps other mycotoxins,” says Jerry Shurson, swine nutritionist, University of Minnesota. “This will have adverse effects not only on corn when feeding to pigs, but the DDGS produced from mycotoxin-contaminated corn will have increased concentrations of mycotoxins (by a factor of 3) because they are not destroyed during the production process.” 

Feeding these ingredients may have a negative effect on swine health and performance, and require the addition of mycotoxin binders at an extra cost to the diet to minimize their effects, Shurson adds. 

Many ethanol plants are now reducing the oil content of DDGS, which has led to concerns of a reduced energy content. In the May issue of PORK, however, Shurson reports that energy value of the lower-oil DDGS isn't reduced much when compared to typical DDGS. (For more, go to http://bit.ly/S2oDbk.)

For more information on mycotoxins, go to http://bit.ly/S2nNv3.