Osage Bio Energy has signed a contract with Land O’Lakes Purina Feed to market its barley protein meal, a co-product of its ethanol bio-processing operation.

Osage Bio Energy’s first plant, Appomattox Bio Energy in Hopewell, Va., is currently under construction and scheduled to come online in late spring 2010. The company reports that it will be the first commercial scale barley-to-ethanol processing plant in the United States and will have the capacity to produce 250,000 tons of barley protein meal annually.

According to Osage Bio Energy, barley protein meal has a low fat profile and high protein and lysine content relative to other grain-based feeds. The plant will use a specialized milling technique that removes the hulls from the barley to reduce the fiber and concentrating the protein and starch. The hulls will be pelletized on-site and sold as a renewable fuel source. Beta-glucans will be converted to ethanol and will not be in the feed.