The Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center at Iowa State University has published a book providing guidance on using distillers’ grains as a feedstuff for livestock and poultry.

The book, Using Distillers Grains in the U.S. and International Livestock and Poultry Industries, was edited by Bruce Babcock, Dermot Hayes and John Lawrence, all professors of economics at Iowa State. It is only available online, so go to where it’s downloadable for free.

The editors invited internationally renowned experts in animal science, economics, trade, transportation and logistics from Iowa State and six other universities to share their knowledge and the latest research about distillers’ grains.

Chapters address nutrition and live-animal performance of swine, beef and dairy cattle, and poultry when fed various distillers’ grain products. Storage, shelf life and transportation issues are addressed, as are new technologies on the horizon and challenges remaining in the use of distillers’ grains. Two chapters discuss the trade value in small and large international markets.

There’s a chapter on ingredient value and cost, which includes an online calculator program. You can use the calculator to determine the best-cost diet in the context of current market supply and demand, as well as the balanced nutrient content for a specific animal species. Feed distributors can use the calculator to determine appropriate feed ingredient pricing.

“This book is a comprehensive resource on all aspects of feeding, handling and marketing distillers’ grains,” says Lucy Norton, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s managing director. “Distillers’ grains are a valuable source of protein and energy that can be an economical addition to feed rations.”