The U.S. Grains Council is helping build markets through demonstration trials for U.S. dried distiller’s grains with solubles, known as pruebas, in southeastern Mexico.
Located west of the Yucatán peninsula, southeastern Mexico is home to large populations of cattle. Ranchers in the region raise feeder calves that are both consumed within the region and shipped to feedlots in northern Mexico.
While the tropical climate provides ample grass for grazing, ranchers can benefit from supplementing with DDGS, and the Council is working to show local producers the feed ingredient’s efficiency and value as well as to help establish regional feed suppliers that offer DDGS as part of their commercial feed offerings.
“Mexico is traditionally the second largest importer of U.S. DDGS with countless large livestock producers actively using the product, but the size and complexity of the Mexican market means that there are still significant untapped market opportunities to expand DDGS use,” said Javier Chavez, USGC marketing specialist in Mexico. “Education and market information could spur up to 80,000 metric tons of additional DDGS demand in this part of the country.”
Supplementing with DDGS has proven highly effective in feeding trials conducted in southeastern Mexico. Cattle fed DDGS grow heavier faster, allowing ranchers to send their calves to market nearly two weeks sooner. From a nutritional standpoint, feeding DDGS also benefits the cattle’s digestive systems, fostering microorganisms in the rumen that better process the tropical forages the cattle graze. Furthermore, when these calves are sold into feedlots in northern Mexico, their familiarity with DDGS - inside and out - makes them better gainers.
Regional dairy producers are also seeing benefits from supplementing with DDGS. The additional feed ups milk production and increases fertility rates. And when tropical conditions turn into drought, dairy cows fed DDGS maintain milk production while those without supplementation saw diminished production or went dry.