CALGREN. our wdgs difference

In many ways we are a distillers grain plant with ethanol as our co-product. Distillers grains are well known as a good source of “bypass” protein and nutrients, containing over 30% protein compared to approximately 20% in corn gluten feed (dry matter basis) but similarly high in digestible fiber and low in starch. Extensive research has shown the value of feeding distillers grains to growing-finishing cattle as well as lactating dairy cows. When fed to dairy cows, distillers grains are a high-quality, economical source of crude protein, phosphate and net energy for lactation.

Our goal is to provide a consistent, reliable source of feed for cows in the San Joaquin Valley. We have configured our plant for maximum “up time” and are committed to have stocks on hand to address minor outages.

The nutrient composition of “average” distillers grains imported into the
area can be quite variable due to differences in processing parameters. This is especially true with dried distillers grains in that proteins are
subjected to heat. The most practical way to avoid variability is to buy from a local supplier like Calgren. Our distillers grains vary no more than the corn we process.


WDGS. take a closer look

Distillers grains has a long history of being recognized as a highly nutritious animal feed ingredient. Its outstanding features include starch removed, high fiber, dried yeast cell content, fermentation process, FDA food grade, highly digestible protein (85%), all natural process, concentrated grain nutrients, bypass protein, and essential minerals.

The nutrient composition of distillers grains is a function of the starting grain and the specific methods used to make the ethanol and distillers grains. Distillers grains have very low concentrations of starch because most of the starch in the starting grains was converted to ethanol. Concentrations of protein, fiber, fat, and minerals are increased depending on the concentration of starch in the grain. Corn grain is about two-thirds starch and when most of the starch is removed, concentrations of the other nutrients are increased about three-fold.


VARIABILITY. nutrient composition

The nutrient composition of all feeds varies, but using feeds that are highly variable can reduce profitability of livestock operations because of increased feed costs and/or reduced production. Reduced production occurs when a diet does not contain adequate concentrations of a particular nutrient because a feed has less than anticipated concentrations of that nutrient. Increased feed costs occur when diets are over supplemented to avoid reduced production. The nutrient composition of “average” distillers grains can be quite variable. The coefficient of variation (CV) for protein of dry distillers grains shipped into Central California is said to be 8%.

Variation can be managed, but you need to know the variation in nutrient composition of the feed. To reduce variability, purchasers of distillers grains have long been advised to purchase from a single source that practices good quality control. The only practical way to do so is to purchase from a local ethanol plant like Calgren’s.

Advantages of WDGS include a lower cost per unit of DM, higher energy concentration (drying causes a reaction between proteins and carbohydrates that can reduce energy digestibility in DDGS) and it mixes well into a total mixed ration and the moisture of the product can reduce diet sorting when fed to cows.


DISTILLERS GRAINS . what are they worth

Animals do not require specific feeds; they require nutrients. If the value of nutrients can be determined (for example, rumen nondegradable protein is worth so many cents per pound) then the value of a feed can be calculated by summing up the value of its nutrients. The value of nutrients can only be determined using market prices of numerous feeds and these values constantly change. A computer program developed at The Ohio State University is available (SESAME, that can calculate the value of nutrients based on current feed prices. This approach is probably the most accurate method of determining whether the market price of distillers grains is a good buy (i.e., the value of its nutrients exceeds the market price), a neutral buy, or a poor buy.

The value of WDGS can be calculated from the price of DDGS. The price of DDGS is adjusted for differences in DM concentration and nutrient composition.

Dry matter adjustment = DM of WDGS divided by DM of DDGS If WDGS is 35% DM and DDGS is 88%, then the adjustment is 35/88 = 0.398.

Example: DDGS delivered to farm at $176/ton (WDGS is 35% DM)

Break even price for WDGS: $176 x 0.398 = $70/ton delivered



Calgren plant

KNOW. the facts

All types of cattle can efficiently utilize distillers grains when they are part of a balanced diet. Equal or better performance (rates of gain for beef cattle or milk yield in dairy cows) are usually reported when diets with up to 20% of their DM from distillers grains are compared with control diets (usually the distillers grains replace corn grain and soybean meal).

For dairy cattle, the amount of fat in the distillers grains may be the limiting factor for how much can be fed without adversely affecting milk yield or composition. If other sources of supplemental fat are not being fed, fat from distillers grains can make up about 2% of the diet. Therefore, dividing 2 by the percentage of fat in the distillers grains (and multiplying by 100) is an estimate of the maximum amount of distillers grains that should be fed.

For example, if distillers grains contained 12% fat, then (2/12) x 100 = 16.7; the diet should contain no more than about 17% of its DM as distillers grains DM. The amount of distillers grains (up to the limit) that should be included in the diet is strictly a function of price. If distillers grains are quite inexpensive relative to other feeds, then diets may contain up to about 20% distillers grains.