An OhioStateUniversity computer software program, developed to help you make more informed commodity feed purchases, can now be used to calculate the nutritional and economic worth of distillers’ grains.

SESAME, a Windows-based program created by OhioState animal scientists, estimates the breakeven prices of up to 140 types of feedstuffs based on their nutrient content — metabolizable energy, protein, fiber levels and more — according to current market prices.

As ethanol production increases, so do its byproducts, such as distillers’ dried grains with solubles. Using SESAME is an efficient, accurate approach to determining the value of various types of distillers’ grains, says software developer Normand St-Pierre, an Ohio State Extension dairy specialist.

“There are several different types of distillers’ grains from which producers can choose. All are based on the ethanol production process and the equipment used, and all have different nutritional characteristics,” St-Pierre says. “Animals do not require specific feeds; they require nutrients. The SESAME software determines the nutritional values of those distillers’ grains and compares them to other commodities available in a given feed market.”

There are at least 10 different types of distillers’ grains available to producers in the Midwest. SESAME lets you pick the right one for your herd. “The software’s purpose is to offer producers buying opportunities and reduced feed costs,” St-Pierre says. He believes that as alternative feedstuffs become more available and popular, SESAME becomes an invaluable tool in choosing the proper distillers’ grains to feed. “Ethanol production may increase grain costs, but with that comes increased opportunities to use the byproducts,” St-Pierre says.

You can download the latest version of SESAME at http://www.sesamesoft.com. Users can try the software for free for seven days, after which the cost to register the program is $99.95. There is a version for users in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as another version for other international users.

For more information about SESAME, go to the Web site, or contact St-Pierre at (614) 292-6507 or e-mail st-pierre.8@osu.edu.