Representatives of the U.S. Grains Council met earlier this month with representatives of a major Mexican feed mill in response to concerns with distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in pelleted feed.

CAMPI feed mill had reduced the use of DDGS in swine and beef cattle rations after finding the pellets lost shape and did not have a good pellet durability index rating, resulting in customers complaints.

Julio Hernandez, USGC acting director in Mexico and Kim Koch, a feed manufacturing expert from North Dakota State University, met with the CAMPI director general, nutritionists and plant, production and quality control managers on Aug. 15-17 to find ways to increase pellet durability.

After examining starch and fiber content in the ration, size of the rollers and die of the pellet machine, steam quality and conditioning time, they determined the loss in durability was due to a combination of low starch and high fiber in the ration and inadequate conditioning in the steam chamber.

They returned pellet durability to normal by reducing the dietary fiber, increasing time in the conditioning chamber and adjusting the steam and temperature. “They were very satisfied with results and will go back to including DDGS in the diets,” said Hernandez.

The group also recommended the CAMPI staff continue to evaluate steam quality and change the rollers and die to improve pellet compression.

Mexico has become a significant market for U.S. DDGS, importing more than 334,354 metric tons during the first six months of 2007 according to USDA statistics.

USCG also plans to conduct a DDGS feeding trial in Jordan in 2008. “Both of the dairy companies we visited have expressed a strong interest in trying DDGS,” noted Tucker Partel, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Subcontinent.

Jordan has the potential to import up to 50,000 metric tons of DDGS a year within five years as its livestock industry becomes more familiar with the product. The feeding trial is an integral part of the Council’s efforts to promote the grain co-product in the region.