China delegation spends time understanding US DDGS sector
To gain a more thorough understanding of the production and use of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles, the U.S. Grains Council organized a mission from China to visit the United States. The delegation included representatives from China’s DDGS regulatory team, including those involved in the DDGS registration process within China. Senior-level representatives from some of China’s largest livestock and feed companies, such as Haid Group and Shandong Liuhe Group, were also in attendance, as were delegates from the China Agriculture University and the Ocean University of China.
“The deputy director general for China’s National Animal Husbandry Service and the division chief of the China Feed Industry Association were also part of the delegation,” said Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of international operations for DDGS, who accompanied the group. “The goal was to give them a thorough background on DDGS and ethanol production from a regulatory perspective to the process itself to methods of shipping DDGS around the world.”
To help give such a view, the delegation spent time in Washington, D.C., with the Foreign Agricultural Service, Food and Drug Administration and others. While in Washington, the group covered everything from shipping standards and requirements and the Renewable Fuels Standard and how it impacts ethanol production within the United States. Questions on the use of antibiotics in ethanol production were also addressed, as antibiotics are sometimes used by ethanol producers to keep bacteria from negatively impacting yeast used to convert corn starch to ethanol.
“This is a question we are sometimes asked about ethanol production, but at this point in time it is not a concern for feeding DDGS, which was reassuring to the delegation,” Cordero said.
Time was also spent, of course, in several ethanol plants in the Midwest, where the delegation got a firsthand look at the ethanol and distiller’s grains production process. Stops at CME Group in Chicago and in the offices of DDGS marketers demonstrated how corn and other products are traded, while a tour of container load-out facilities gave a firsthand look at DDGS shipping.
Additional visits to livestock farms gave insight into how U.S. producers use distiller’s grains in rations before the group finished up at the International Grains Program at Kansas State University.
“The delegation saw firsthand the marketplace from top to bottom and spent time discussing in great detail every aspect of ethanol and distiller’s grains production in the United States,” Cordero said. “We wanted to provide all the tools the delegation needed to have a better hands-on understanding of our DDGS industry and I believe we accomplished that.”