ST. LOUIS -- The National Corn Growers Association today announced the release of a report containing new guidelines for the analysis of distillers dried grains with solubles.

The report, which also contains information on the definitions of DDGS and condensed distillers solubles, is the result of a year-long study funded jointly by NCGA, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

RFA and AFIA working groups oversaw the project, while Nancy Thiex, chair of the Association of American Feed Control Officials and laboratory manager of the Olson Biochemistry Laboratories at South Dakota State University, served as the primary consultant to the project. Final results were presented last week at RFA's National Ethanol Conference in Tucson, Ariz.

Specifically, the report offers recommended test methods for determining the moisture, crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber content of DDGS. These factors are often viewed as the key determinants of the market value of the product. Historically, the lack of "standard" empirical DDGS test methods has led to results that vary significantly from laboratory to laboratory, causing product uncertainty for producers, marketers, nutritionists, regulatory bodies and -- most importantly -- distillers grains customers.

NCGA believes widespread voluntary adoption of recommended test methods will reduce market confusion and add more structure to the DDGS marketplace.

"To date, it has not been uncommon for buyers and sellers to use a number of different analytical methods when testing DDGS," said Bruce Noel, chairman of the NCGA Ethanol Committee. "Obviously, using different analytical methods can lead to markedly different results on the same DDGS sample. That variance can cause significant challenges for the parties involved in the trade of the product, and it inflates the perception that DDGS is an inconsistent product."

As an example, Noel said when five different moisture test methods were used during the study's intralaboratory analysis, moisture values on a common DDGS sample ranged from 9.03 percent to 12.69 percent. The range was even wider when four fat methods were used to analyze crude fat content.

"The DDGS end user wants to know exactly what he's getting, and we think the use of voluntary 'standard' test methods is an important step forward in responding to the needs of DDGS customers," Noel said. "These guidelines help buyers, sellers and everyone else involved in the trade make apples to apples comparisons."

Noel said the study also serves as a good example of the synergies that exist amongst the feed, ethanol and corn industries. "The corn-based ethanol and feed industries identified variation in analytical methods as a significant problem several years ago," he said. "And they came together to address the issue quickly and constructively."

The National Corn Growers Association's mission is to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. NCGA represents more than 31,000 members and 47 affiliated state organizations and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.

SOURCE: National Corn Growers Association via PrimeNewswire.