Ecuador producers visit MN to tour local ethanol plant

A group of farmers from small to mid-sized poultry, swine and dairy farms in Ecuador visited Minnesota earlier this week for a close look at the production of American DDGS, as they explore the ethanol coproduct as an alternative feed.

While it produces its own corn, Ecuador has tight restrictions on corn imports. However the price of corn in the country is high, which led livestock producers to learn more about the production and safety of DDGS as a possible alternative to import.

Organized by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and U.S. Grains Council, the tour began on Tuesday at Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson with General Manager Chad Friese leading the group in a tour of the ethanol plant. Chippewa Valley Ethanol produces about 120,000 tons of DDGS annually.

Friese guided the group of 13 through all levels of DDGS production, including the plant’s testing procedures that ensure a safe end-product. The livestock producers were interested in learning more about the many quality controls throughout the production process.

Following the tour, the group had an opportunity to ask Friese about the nutritional value of DDGS, including details like overall fat content. They received a more in-depth presentation on the nutritional benefits of DDGS the following day at the University of Minnesota.

Before leaving Benson, representatives from University of Minnesota Extension gave a presentation on Minnesota’s swine and poultry production, and a Riverview representative gave an overview of its dairy, beef and agronomy operation. The group departed to Louisiana on Thursday to tour grain export operations before heading home.

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