Ethanol production in the U.S. is projected to reach 11.9 billion gallons in 2009 according to Informa Economics. The prediction came at the International Distillers Grains Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

More than 500 attendees at the conference, sponsored by the United States Grains Council, heard that ethanol production increased in 2008 by approximately 3 billion gallons over 2007 to 9.3 billion gallons .

The increase in ethanol production means there also will be a substantial increase in the supply of dried distiller’s grains with solubles, an ethanol co-product. Roughly 33 percent of the grain going into U.S. ethanol production will come out as DDGS. 

“The reason we’re holding this conference is that we are confident that the U.S. ethanol industry will continue to grow due to efforts undertaken by the National Corn Growers Association and state producer organizations over the last several years,” said Ken Hobbie, USGC president. “Due to the efforts of U.S. growers to establish the ethanol industry, we made DDGS our top priority in 2006 and since then have seen DDGS exports exceed 2 million metric tons annually.”

Scott Richman, senior vice president of Informa Economics said that as a result of the growth in the U.S. ethanol industry this year, 22.8 million tons of DDGS were produced in 2007/2008 marketing year-- a 50 percent increase from the 2006/2007 marketing year. He said the 2008/2009 marketing year, which just began on October 1st, is likely to experience an additional 50 percent increase, reaching 31.3 million tons.

“There will be a substantial amount of DDGS available for global livestock industries,” said Richman. “It looks like we are going to be pushing more DDGS into export markets. The U.S. Grains Council’s efforts promoting DDGS and opening several new markets across the globe is helping the ethanol industry in a big way.