Pork industry nutritionists met in Des Moines this week to discuss how oil extraction affects the energy value, as well as monetary value, of distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) used in swine diets. The practice of extracting oil from the co-product of ethanol production is being used increasingly by the nation’s renewable fuels industry.

The seminar, sponsored by Nutriquest, Mason City, Iowa, featured leading DDGS researchers Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Shurson, University of Minnesota swine nutritionist and Dr. Brian Kerr, lead scientist, USDA Agriculture Research Service.

“From some of our research we have learned that the simple relationship that many think of relating fat content with energy value simply does not work very well,” said Shurson. “It is more complicated than that.”

As a result of Shurson’s and Kerr’s research, the two scientists have developed energy prediction equations that swine nutritionists can use to determine energy value of reduced oil DDGS - which is important in feed formulations and assessing relative value among various sources.

It is important to stay informed on the DDGS being used in diets, especially if the ethanol plant that provides the co-product is using oil extraction. Currently, about half of the ethanol plants in the Midwest are extracting oil from DDGS but more are expected to start the process.

If DDGS used in swine diets has undergone oil extraction, Shurson suggests that a producer consult with a swine nutritionist or with their feed company and ask them if diet formulation changes are necessary based on changing energy values of reduced-oil DDGS.