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Japanese Dairy Hungry for DDGS

29 May 2009

JAPAN - About four years ago the U.S. Grains Council, in collaboration with the local dairy industry and universities, introduced distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the Japanese region through a DDGS feeding trial.

This resulted in the local feed company, ZEN-NOH, one of Japan's largest corn and barley importers, trying DDGS at a very low inclusion rate, writes Dan Keefe, U.S. Grains Council Manager of International Operations for DDGS .

According to Mr Keefe, now, ZEN-NOH regularly uses DDGS in its compound feed rations anywhere from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, depending on the price. It has monitored the performance of its rations on the farms purchasing its feed for the last several years. It found the DDGS-fed cows produce the same or better production levels as cows not fed DDGS, while operating at significantly lower feed costs.

According to the Council's local dairy feed expert Hiroaki Igarashi, the cows think DDGS is "udderly delicious" and the Japanese dairy farmers see the immediate reduction in their feed bill, which makes them happy too.

Last week Mr Keefe traveled to Japan to attend the Council's DDGS workshops in Obihiro and Tokyo, Japan. The main goal of these workshops was to provide Japanese DDGS end-users with information to help ramp-up their utilization of DDGS in the ration.

The Council provided information on pelleting to help reduce the costs of shipping, storage and handling; nutritional information; and marketing information to help them more efficiently use DDGS and make purchasing decisions equipped with the latest market intelligence on DDGS supply and pricing.

Workshop attendees toured the Kaneso Dairy Farm, established in 1988 by the Kaneso family, a fourth generation family dairy farm operation in Hokkaido, Japan. The 500-head milking cow and 250-head heifer operation had heard of the success DDGS brought ZEN-NOH farms and now uses DDGS in its mixed ration at a 10 percent inclusion rate.

According to Chiharu Kaneso, owner of Kaneso Dairy Farm, cows are producing approximately 32 kilograms of milk per head per day, a very high production rate. There is a large market in Japan for DDGS. So far this year, it has imported 53,600 metric tonnes of U.S. DDGS, which is a 69.5 per cent increase from the same time period of the previous year.

In 2008 Japan imported 198,000 tonnes of U.S. DDGS up 114,000 tonnes from 2007. "It's pretty clear to me," wrote Mr Keefe, "U.S. DDGS has been a marketable product in Japan that offers its end-users a quality feed ingredient. This will ultimately help the Japanese people to have a plentiful supply of affordable meat, milk and eggs."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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