Ethanol and Factory Farms

So what does ethanol have to do with factory farming?

Currently in Saskatchewan an integrated feedlot-ethanol plant business plan is being promoted as the template for ethanol development. By integrating the feedlot with the ethanol plant spent mash (DDGS) resulting from ethanol production can be fed directly to cattle.

An ethanol plant is little more than a large distillery for making alcohol.

The basic recipe is:

  • Feedstock (corn, wheat, sugar cane, etc.)
  • Water
  • Yeast and Enzymes

Cook according to directions

Yield: Ethanol, water, DDGS (distillers dried grains with solubles) and CO2.

The feedlot is primarily a waste disposal opportunity for the ethanol plant, as the DDGS can be fed to cattle, provided it does not exceed a maximum of 30% of their feed.

A feasibility study (page iv) commissioned by the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS)in 2004, shows a picture of the integrated 15-million litre ethanol plant-28,000 head feedlot near Lanigan, SK and says:

“The point is that the ethanol plant in the centre-front of the picture is a very small facility in comparison to the whole feedlot complex. We are actually talking about a feedlot business from a visual, environmental and management point of view.”