Panel discusses high protein feed products at ACE conference

By Matt Thompson | August 15, 2019

For many producers in today’s ethanol industry, diversifying their products may be the most viable strategy. At the American Coalition for Ethanol’s annual conference in Omaha, Nebraska, Fluid Quip Technologies and ICM Inc presented their cases for diversifying into protein production.

“There’s a lot of opportunities to take the plants from strictly ethanol to the biorefineries of the future,” said Michael Franko, vice president of business development for Fluid Quip Technologies.

One reason Franko said protein should be a focus for ethanol plants is it’s not legislated revenue. “It’s really independent and you hold your fate in your own hands,” he said.

In addition, Franko says, the global demand for protein growing. “When you look at the need and demand for these protein products, it’s insatiable,” he said.

Peter. E.V. Williams, senior nutritionist at Fluid Quip Technology agreed. He says globally, we’re energy long, and protein short. “The bottom line is we’ve got to find more protein, and where is it going to come from?” he said. The answer, of course, is the ethanol industry.

Williams also says DDGS are in imperfect product. Ryan Mass, feed business manager at ICM Inc. agreed. “Because we feed it to cattle, they get more protein than they need,” Mass said, adding that much of the protein produced at ethanol plants is wasted. He advocated for developing feed products that are ideal for specific markets and specific species.