Pork producers used an estimated 5.5 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in U.S. swine diets during 2011, realizing savings of as much as $10/pig by replacing corn with the byproduct of the ethanol process. Charting a course to saving money on diets takes some time and calculation. To help with that step, several midwestern universities offer free, online calculators to aid the decision-making process when figuring out the potential cost savings from using DDGS at varying levels.

Kansas State University (KSU) – The swine nutrition team offers an online spreadsheet calculator that helps producers calculate the outcomes based not only on DDGS prices, but also on the cost of corn, soybean meal, monocalcium phosophate, L-lysine HCL and limestone. Changes in diet costs, savings per pig and breakeven prices for DDGS can be calculated based on dietary DDGS levels of 10%, 20% and 30%.

Determine carcass weight, carcass price and the amount of yield decline for every 10% of DDGS in a diet. A yield cost per pig is also calculated along with approximate savings per pig and breakeven price per ton that takes the yield reduction into account.

Also available, the online DDGS Step-Down Economic Calculator will calculate diet cost savings including DDGS levels from 10% to 40%. Both calculation tools are available at http://www.asi.k-state.edu/p.aspx?tabid=1220.

Iowa State University (ISU) – Iowa State offers a similar online DDGS Calculator that gives producers the opportunity to investigate DDGS inclusion rates for nursery, grow-finish, gestation, lactation and even boar feeding regimens. Find ISU’s online DDGS Calculator at http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/resources.html.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) – An online calculator includes spreadsheets offering the option to make DDGS calculations using either 44% or 46% soybean meal in a ration. Producers can enter their own ingredient costs in the colored cells on the site, and the calculator shows the most economical outcome. See the calculator at http://www.sdstate.edu/ars/species/swine/extension/index.cfm.