A four-year examination of the impact of using bioethanol co-products as an alternative source of protein in poultry and pig feeds has successfully demonstrated the “great value” of distillers’ dried grain with solubles (DDGS), as well as signalling the potential for processors and users to work on further improvements.
Funded by Defra and backed by 25 industry and academic partners, the examination has now yielded a 206-page final report, containing detailed analyses of nine separate trials, designed to explore a range of objectives and methodologies concerning the nutritional value of wheat distillers dried grains with solubles (wDDGS), when fed to pigs and poultry.
In assessing the results of each trial, researchers looked for evidence of positive benefits and the successful avoidance of any negative health effects, while also considering the commercial realities of how cost effective the use of an alternative wDDGS item may be in comparison to what is already available.
In looking at the results of a largescale commercial broiler trial, for example, they concluded that there were no differences in liveweight performance with wDDGS, but that a better feed conversion ratio (FCR) was achieved.
It was also observed, however, that the wDDGA diets were more expensive as a result of having to include higher levels of pure amino acids. Set against that finding, the cost /kg gain was lower and the production efficiency factor (PEF) was higher.
The trial also showed that the addition of up to 100g/kg wDDGS into a balanced broiler diet had no detrimental effects on the technical performance of the birds.
Multiplied by the report’s 206 pages, such findings illustrate the depth of commercial work now needed to convert the various wDDGS observations into on-farm products and processes.
The report, called Environmental and nutritional benefits of bioethanol co-products (ENBBIO), has been published by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board. Its commercial and academic backers include AHDB Beef & Lamb, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, AHDB Dairy, AHDB Pork, AB Agri Ltd, AB Vista Feed Ingredients, ADAS UK Ltd, Aunir, Ensus Ltd, Evonik Industries AG, Glencore, Hook2Sisters, Marks and Spencer, Noble Foods, Premier Nutrition, Sciantec, the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, Scotland’s Rural College, Syngenta, Tulip, and University of Nottingham.