Economics of using DDGS
Corn distillers dried grains with soluble (DDGS) is an economical and widely available feed ingredient for use in swine diets. The economic value of DDGS depends on cost of corn and soybean meal, as DDGS replaces both ingredients in the diet. The favorable price of DDGS relative to corn and soybean meal is often an incentive to greater DDGS inclusion rates. However, dietary inclusion rates of DDGS in grow-finish diets have an impact on growth performance, carcass yield, and pork fat firmness, which affect the economic return of the nutritional program.
A production tool has been developed to aid in determining the economic DDGS levels for grow-finish diets. The KSU DDGS Calculator estimates the economic return from using dietary DDGS at varying levels by considering changes in feed cost and growth performance. However, the impact of DDGS levels on carcass yield or pork fat firmness is not accounted for.
The example in Figure 1 illustrates the use of the KSU DDGS Calculator. The calculator suggests the DDGS inclusion rate in grow-finish diets to maximize savings per pig. Then, the user can choose the most appropriate DDGS level for the production system. In this example, using a maximum of 30% DDGS in a step-down program would result in savings of $2.67 per pig.
Figure 1. An example on how to determine the economic DDGS level in grow-finish diets using the KSU DDGS Calculator.