Extension Ag Update
November/December 2004
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

Distillers Feeds: Using Illinois By-Product Feeds in Livestock Feeding Programs

"The website is a must for livestock producers, veterinarians, consultants, and feed industry personnel," said Mike Hutjens, U of I Extension dairy specialist. "With over 10 percent of the U.S. corn crop being processed for ethanol production, corn distillers grains continue to be a valuable feed by-product, a key to profitable ethanol production, important to U.S. corn producers, and a source of nutrients for livestock."

Hutjens also noted that ethanol reduces dependence on foreign oil and burns clean. "Every bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 18 pounds of distillers grain," he said. "By 2010, one projection predicts that over seven million gallons of ethanol and 17 million metric tons of distillers grain will be produced in the United States." With larger supplies of corn distillers grain available for livestock producers, the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) provided funding for the new website, seeking to assist livestock producers in successfully incorporating wet and dry distiller grain in their feeding program.

The new website contains several sections covering key concerns, including a list of Midwestern distillers grain sources and contacts for current prices and by-product availability.  Among other features:

  • Current research results and recommendations for beef steers, beef cows, dairy cattle and swine;
  • Training presentations;
  • Resource library including material from industry and university sources;
  • Breakeven feed prices for distillers grains that can be calculated on the web site;
  • Weekly price updates for distillers grains and other by-product feeds;
  • Storage and handling of wet distillers grains in bags.

"Distillers grain will continue to be a readily available by-product that could double in amount in the next five years as more corn is diverted for ethanol production," said Hutjens. "Successful use of distillers grain will be a win-win program for corn producers, livestock producers, and consumers."  For more information contact Michael Hutjens at 217- 333-2928.

Working with Retail Buyers

The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has published a new report that provides background information for farmers who are considering selling their products through retail stores. Based on dozens of interviews with retail buyers, the report gives advice on preparing yourself and your products for market, determining whether retail is your best option, and selecting the right store for your products. The report also discusses the needs of retail buyers and the advantages and challenges of selling locally produced goods.

How to Direct Market Farm Products on the Internet

Got a great product?  This 37 page bulletin is full of ideas on ways to increase your market using Internet sales.

Managing Manure To Improve Air And Water Quality

Animal waste from confined animal feeding operations is a potential source of air and water quality degradation. Pollution from animal waste poses challenges to farmers and to resource managers because it can affect multiple resources while environmental laws typically focus only on a single resource. This report assesses the economic and environmental tradeoffs between water quality policies and air quality policies that could require the animal sector to take potentially costly measures to abate pollution, based on a farm-level analysis of hog farms, a national analysis including all sectors, and a regional assessment in an area with high animal numbers.

Hoop Barns and Bedded Systems Conference Proceedings Now Available

Presentations from the Hoop Barns and Bedded Systems for Livestock Production Conference are now available online. The conference was held in Ames, Iowa, in September 2004. Hoops are attracting increasing attention for their low-capital cost, competitive returns, and flexibility. Presentations cover topics such as deep-bedded systems for sows and dairy, niche marketing, animal welfare, interfacing hoops with conventional systems, and more. A scientific symposium was held in conjunction with the producer-oriented conference, and abstracts and presentations from the symposium are also available online.

Hog Production Alternatives

This publication addresses the two different directions in which hog production is currently moving: 1) contracting with large-scale vertical integrators   (producers / packers / processors linked from farrowing to packing to the retail counter), and  2) sustainable production of a smaller number of hogs sold through alternative markets. The aspects of sustainable hog production discussed in this publication include alternative niche marketing, breed selection, alternative feeds, waste management, odor control, health concerns, and humane treatment. Basic production practices are not covered in this publication, but they are readily available in many books and through state Cooperative Extension Services.