America’s ethanol plants produced enough livestock feed last year to provide for all the cattle in the nation’s four largest feedlot states.
That is one of the findings in a new report from the Renewable Fuels Association on the role of the U.S. ethanol industry in food and feed production. According to their analysis, America’s ethanol producers delivered 23 million metric tons of livestock and poultry feed to the world last year, or nearly three times the amount of wheat, sorghum, barley and oats fed to U.S. livestock in the 2007/08 marketing year. That is roughly equivalent to the combined total amount of feed consumed by cattle on feed last year in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado – the nation’s four largest feedlot states.
Only two-thirds of every bushel of grain processed by an ethanol plant is actually used for fuel production. The remaining one-third of the bushel is enhanced and returned to the animal feed market, most often in the form of distillers grains, corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal.
“The livestock feed co-products of ethanol production are the best kept secret of this industry,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. “The focus of the public has been on the industry’s production of fuel ethanol as a renewable alternative to imported oil. But the production of a high quality livestock feed is equally important. Our industry is truly in the business of producing both feed and fuel.”
The report backs up RFA’s new television spots that highlight ethanol production in Hereford, Texas – the beef capital of the world.