Features and Benefits of Dakota Gold DDGS for Dairy Formulations

Dakota Gold’s unique nutrient profile makes it a perfect ingredient for dairy cattle formulations. The following list includes a few key features that provide value to both dairy producers and nutritionists.

Reduced Fat

Feeding greater amounts of fat in the diet of lactating dairy cattle—specifically unsaturated fat like that in corn oil—can result in cows producing less fat in the milk, called milkfat depression.

Because of the BPX process that POET uses to produce bioethanol and Dakota Gold, POET can extract more oil than other bioethanol producers. The lower fat in DDGS provides a significant advantage over other non-POET DDGS for dairy cattle.

Improved Digestibility

POET’s BPX process minimizes the amount of heat during bioethanol and DDGS production. This reduces the negative effects of the Maillard reaction which can bind some of the protein and fiber.

Greater digestibility means the animal can capture and use more of the nutrients in Dakota Gold compared with non-POET DDGS. This results in greater energy and value for the animal.

Biohydrogenation Pathways of Trans-Fatty Acid Intermediate Production Linked to Milkfat Depression (Adapted from LOCK, 2009) Linoleic acid (cis-9, cis-12 C18:2)

Biohydrogenation Theory for Milkfat Depression. Feeding too much linoleic acid—a fatty acid in DDGS—results in the production of certain fatty acid intermediates, which cause decreases in milkfat production. Feeding less linoleic acid minimizes this risk. (1)

NDF Digestibility

Improved Digestibility. Faster rates of NDF digestibility mean that dairy cattle can capture more of the energy in the fiber. Greater amounts of energy mean better performance—more milk production, energy for reproduction and weight gain.


Dairy cows require fiber in their diet to maintain optimal performance and good rumen health. Too little fiber can cause cows to develop conditions like acidosis or sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA).

Research has demonstrated that Dakota Gold can effectively replace alfalfa hay in lactating dairy cow diets. This provides flexbility in formulation and potential cost savings when forages become scarce or over-priced.

Cost Competitive

Producers and nutritionists need to consider costs and look at metrics like income over feed costs to determine the best strategies for ingredient purchases.

Dakota Gold provides a great source of both protein and energy. We can use software programs like Sesame and AMTS to demonstrate the Dakota Gold provides significant value when factoring in the complete nutrient profile.

Forage Replacement – UNL Research

Fiber. Research at The University of Nebraska demonstrates that Dakota Gold can replace higher-priced alfalfa hay in lactating dairy cow diets. This study replaced 100% of the alfalfa (18% of the diet dry matter) and observed similar intake and equal or better milk production with no effects of milkfat.


  1. Lock, A.L. (2019, April 23). Milk fat depression involves many factors. Pioneer Seeds. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from https://www.pioneer.com/us/agronomy/milkfat-depression.html.

*These results are not a guarantee of nutritional value, as laboratory results are influenced by factors beyond the control of POET Nutrition.