Anyone utilizing wet distiller's grains (WDG) already knows the challenges of spoilage borne by the high moisture content. What researchers are beginning to demonstrate though, is the added shelf-life that can be had by mixing dry, bulky feeds with the byproduct.

For example, University of Nebraska (UNL) researchers tried mixing in grass hay, alfalfa hay or wheat straw. According to a recent UNL report, mixing in grass hay (15%), alfalfa hay (22.5%) or wheat straw (12.5%) -- all on a dry matter basis -- proved to be the minimum level that allowed for successful bagging at 300 lbs./square inch.

For bunker storage, researchers found 40% of grass hay mixed with WDG was firm enough for packing; 25-32% for wheat straw.

There may be 2-3 in. of spoilage at the top, but everything else appears fine says Galen Erickson, UNL nutritionist.

"Other fiber sources would presumably work but we chose these three because of their availability this time of year," says Erickson, who worked on the project with fellow UNL nutrition researcher, Terry Klopfenstein.

You can find more details of the project, including work with mixing WDG with Dried Distillers Grains, and mixing corn gluten with WDG at: ianrnews.unl.edu/static/0606270.shtml.