Tags: Cattle | candy | feed | corn

Trick or Treat? Cattle Fed Sweet Treats Instead of Pricey Corn

By Michael Kling   |   Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 11:19 AM

Rising corn prices have put the pinch on dairy farmers. So they've found something else to feed their cattle: candy.

Farmers are feeding their cattle chocolate bars, ice cream sprinkles, gummy worms and hard candy mixed into more traditional forms of feed, CNNMoney reported.

Candy fetches a good price compared with corn, the traditional cattle feed, which as doubled since 2009 due to demand for ethanol used as a fuel additive and this year's drought, according to CNNMoney. Corn sells for about $315 a ton, while ice cream sprinkles can be purchased for $160 a ton.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

The unusual diet is actually good for cows, farmers and bovine nutritionists told CNNMoney. Sugar helps fatten up cattle without hurting it or people who eat the beef or drink the milk.

Sugar in ice cream sprinkles seems to boost a cow's milk production by three pounds a day, said Mike Yoder, an Indiana dairy farmer, who feeds his cows candy, hot chocolate mix, crumbled cookies, breakfast cereal, trail mix, dried cranberries, orange peelings and ice cram sprinkles.

"As the price of corn has climbed, farmers either sold off their pigs and cattle, or they found alternative feeds," he told CNNMoney.

Farmers are buying a many different kinds of snacks and food byproducts beat the price of corn.

"One guy in Montana bought a whole carload of soda crackers as feed," said Chuck Hurst, a livestock nutritionist in Idaho, according to CNNMoney. "He had to hire a guy to open all the boxes of soda crackers."

"It's kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well," Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist in Nebraska, told Reuters. "The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed."

Farmers can save 10 percent to 50 percent depending on location and the type of alternative feed, known as co-products, according to Reuters. Unfortunately for farmers, the prices of co-products have increased along increased demand.

"They are using less corn in a number of these rations, but as corn prices go up, prices for really every other co-product go up too," says Greg Lardy, head of the animal sciences department at North Dakota State University, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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Rising corn prices have put the pinch on dairy farmers. So they've found something else to feed their cattle: candy.
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2012-19-10
 

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