More Dairy Production Benefits Ethanol Industry

Cindy Zimmerman

Like a rising tide that floats all boats, rising milk production helps many sectors of agriculture, including ethanol, according to the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

The latest USDA estimate released earlier this week shows milk production in the United States continues to expand, with February 2012 production up 8% compared to a year ago thanks to a one percent expansion in the dairy cow herd and a seven percent productivity increase, as measured by milk produced per cow.

“As an agricultural community, we certainly look at growth and gains across the industry favorably,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “This trend benefits corn farmers, like myself, directly also though as increased milk production often translates into increased demand for feed, including corn and ethanol co-product distillers dried grains. I see it as a win-win-win as consumers benefit from a larger milk supply, dairy and corn farmers benefit from increased production and the ethanol industry benefits from the increased demand for the high quality feed ingredients produced along with fuel.”

During the current corn marketing year, estimates are that the nation’s dairy cattle will consume nearly 800 million bushels of corn, or about six percent of total corn usage. The market for DDGs also continues to expand as demand from the dairy sector rises due to increasing awareness and understanding of their quality, affordability and other benefits.

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