O.Z. Tyler offering free stillage to farmers

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer.com | geans@messenger-inquirer.com O. Z. Tyler employee Jimmy Kimmel hooks a hose up to a tanker truck Wednesday to pump stillage, a waste product from distilling, to be distributed to area farmers.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery produces 87,000 gallons of stillage — the residue from making alcohol from grain — every day.

And when the company's expansion is completed at mid-month, it will be producing 108,000 gallons a day.

That will happen when bourbon production increases from 70,000 barrels a year to 90,000.

And it's good news for cattle producers.

O.Z. Tyler offers the stillage free to farmers who want to use it to feed cattle.

And if the farmers can handle a truckload of 6,000 gallons, the distillery will deliver it free within an hour's drive.

Jacob Call, O.Z. Tyler's master distiller and director of operations, said a cow can eat about 20 gallons a day.

That means the distillery's stillage can feed 4,350 cattle a day now and 5,400 by the end of the month.

Call said the distillery has a partnership with a 1,000-acre farm in Hopkins County that raises 1,000 head of cattle.

They can consume about 20,000 gallons a day.

That still leaves more than 3,000 head a day that could be eating stillage.

"With this dry weather, we're getting calls from several farmers who are looking for more feed," Call said.

Clint Hardy, Daviess County extension agent, said it takes effective equipment for farmers to move the stillage — which is mostly water — to their farms.

If farmers like the results from feeding stillage, he said he thinks more will invest in equipment to haul it.

Call said farmers interested in the free feed can call the distillery's office — 270-691-9001.

The Beef Cattle Research Council says, "At levels generally below 15% of the diet," the stillage is "an excellent alternative to soybean or canola meal as a protein supplement."

But it says stillage shouldn't be more than 50% of a cow's diet.

Stillage has always been a byproduct of distilling.

In the 1800s, local distilleries had stockyards nearby, where hogs were fed what was then called "slop."

Some stockyards housed — and slopped — more than 1,000 head of hogs inside the city.

Crabtree Avenue was known as "Slop Lane" in those days because it became almost impassable when spilling slop from farm wagons turned it into a bog.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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