80% of the grains consumed from Molson-Coors and Labatt breweries are exported to the United States

Once the shipment is offloaded, Patrick Lahes boards his tractor and adds straw and corn silage to the spent grain. Supplement the mix with corn kernels, white wheat groats (a by-product of flour) and soybean meal.

Mixer brews everything. Then the share is distributed to the cows in the barn. Their reaction is immediate: they rush to devour the mixture.

Lahaise farm has 300 cows.

Photo: Radio Canada/Martin Chabot

Patrick Lays is happy to use spent grains – the leftover grains used after beer has been produced – which are high in protein and less expensive than many other foods.

Grain/grain price:

The spent grain is a competitive product. It is a product that replaces to some extent all the ingredients found on the farm. This makes it possible to reduce imports of agricultural inputs, such as corn and soybeans, or imports of other sources of protein, which often come from abroad.

In an inflationary context, the farmer considers himself lucky to have access to the product, since the majority of the grain consumed from the largest breweries in Quebec is exported to American farms.

Furst-McNess is the sole contractor for Molson-Coors and Labatt that manages spent cereal. The company specializes in purchasing food products that it sells to the agricultural sector.

Daniel Frechette is an agronomist and sales manager at Furst-McNess, which buys spent grain from Molson-Coors and Labatt, and resells it to farmers.

Photo: Radio Canada / Jose Ducharme

% de notre volume total de ces deux entités-là est exporté aux États-Unis”,”text”:”Nos plus grands clients en ce moment, ce sont de grosses fermes laitières dans l’État du Vermont et dans l’État de New York. 80-85% of the total volume of these two entities is exported to the United States “}}”>Our biggest customers now are the large dairy farms in Vermont and New York. 80-85% of our total volume is exported from these two entities to the United Statessays Daniel Frechette, agronomist and sales manager in the East.

It has between 50 and 55 tractor trailers of 35 tons each that cross the border each week loaded with fermentation grains from Quebec.

Once the spent grains leave the Molson-Coors and Labatt plants, contractor Furst-McNess takes care of the rest. Brewing companies have no influence on the choice of customers.

There are trucks that may pass through the farms that you should receive or they can receiveJean-Thomas Malthés, President of Quebec Livestock Producers, regrets. Rising input prices made him realize that Quebec producers should be more interested in the grains consumed, especially for the beef industry.

Jean-Thomas Maltes wants to enable more farmers to use the spent grain to feed their animals.

Photo: Radio Canada/Martin Chabot

We have big fattening fields with several thousand heads […]. Eats large amounts of consumed grains, he argues. Mr. Thomas believes that Quebec farms could use their spent Molson-Coors and Labatt beans.

The exchange rate makes the product particularly attractive to Americans. But the grains consumed are also important to Quebec farmers.

mindset to change?

Bulls can forage on many leftovers, including spent grains for brewers.

Photo: Radio Canada/Martin Chabot

It’s not necessarily the philosophy of the producers here to work with simple ingredients like brewers’ spent grains., notes Daniel Frichett. According to him, representatives of feed mills strive to work with their products. They provide advisory services to farmers to improve their production as well as sell various products, including fodder. Canada’s largest co-op is Solio, formerly called Coop fédérée.

Patrick Lahayes, former Vice President of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec, agrees with Daniel Fréchette: Farms in Quebec have for a long time been turning their noses up at by-products. We and our co-ops and mills are used to having complete products, all really well balanced. Using by-products, one seriously lags behind.

Jean-Thomas Malthés disagrees. According to him, the agronomists of the cooperatives are open to using something other than their forage: They don’t pay to sell their whole food. They pay to use what you have on the field, too. They are aware of our problems.

Sell ​​spent grain quickly

The dairy cows of the Lahes Farm particularly love fermenting grains.

Photo: Radio Canada/Martin Chabot

The use of spent grain poses some logistical challenges. Not all farmers are equipped like Patrick Lays to receive and process large amounts of spent grain, such as those that Molson-Coors and Labatt must sell each week. This is what Sollio Groupe Coopératif argues.

Few farms in Quebec have needs large enough for such quantities, while many large American farms consider it an advantage.says Virginie Barbeau, Senior Communications Adviser at Solio.

Since the product is wet, it must be drained quickly to avoid rotting. Feed mills do not use wet products, only dry productsMrs. Barbeau adds. She said drying spent grain would entail significant transportation and logistical costs. On the other hand, using it wet is not optimal, according to her, because feed made from corn forage already contains water.

Dairy farmer Patrick Lahes admits he was initially skeptical about using spent grain. Wonder if the investment is worth it. trying to adopt itsummarizes.

It’s all a matter of regulation because farms, according to Patrick Lahes, have the ability to receive these amounts.

Humidity also forces the Furst-McNess distributor to quickly sell spent grains that cannot be stored. Transportation is definitely the nerve of war because it is very expensiveDaniel Frechette adds. The sales manager will have every interest in finding buyers from Quebec to reduce his gas outlay.

For now, this is clearly impossible.

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