Sugar rush for cows as gummy worms replace costly corn feed
By Carey Gillam | Reuters.com
Mike Yoderís herd of dairy cattle are living the sweet life. With corn feed scarcer and costlier than ever, Yoder increasingly is looking for cheaper alternatives -- and this summer he found a good deal on ice cream sprinkles.
"Itís a pretty colorful load," said Yoder, who operates about 450 dairy cows on his farm in northern Indiana. "Anything that keeps the feed costs down."
As the worst drought in half a century has ravaged this yearís U.S. corn crop and driven corn prices sky high, the market for alternative feed rations for beef and dairy cows has also skyrocketed. Brokers are gathering up discarded food products and putting them out for the highest bid to feed lot operators and dairy producers, who are scrambling to keep their animals fed.
In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.
"Everybody is looking for alternatives," said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. "Itís kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed. The amazing thing about a ruminant, a cow, you can take those type of ingredients and turn them into food."
Feed is generally the largest single production expense for cattle operators. Whatever is fed needs to supply energy and protein levels that meet the animalsí nutritional needs. High prices for soy has operators seeking alternatives for both corn and soy.
Corn alternatives are in particular demand as supplies are so tight that in some areas of the country, feed corn is not available at any price.
Pricing and availability of the many different "co-products" as they are called, varies from place to place, but buyers report savings of 10 percent to 50 percent.
The savings for operators are shrinking, however, as savvy resellers tie pricing for their alternative offerings to the price of corn, which surged to record highs this summer due to drought damage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last month the harvest now underway will yield the smallest corn crop in six years due to the drought that is still gripping more than half of the nation.
"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," said Greg Lardy, head of the animal sciences department at North Dakota State University.
Operators must be careful to follow detailed nutritional analyses for their animals to make sure they are getting a healthy mix of nutrients, animal nutritionists caution. But ruminant animals such as cattle can safely ingest a wide variety of feedstuffs that chickens and hogs canít.
The candy and cookies are only a small part of a broad mix of alternative feed offerings for cattle. Many operators use distillers grains, a byproduct that comes from the manufacture of ethanol. Other common non-corn alternatives include cottonseed hulls, rice products, potato products, peanut pellet.
Wheat "middlings," a byproduct of milling wheat for flour that contain particles of flour, bran, and wheat germ, also are fed.
And every now and then, there is a little chocolate for the hungry cows.
Hansen Mueller Grain out of Omaha, Nebraska, which markets chocolate bars alongside oats and peanut pellets, said it all comes down to fat, sugar and energy.
"Thatís all it is," said Bran Dill, a spokesman at Hansen Mueller. Demand is high, he said.
But he also said increasing prices are making alternatives less attractive.
"The price of this stuff has gone up so much itís gotten ridiculous," he said.
Article from: reuters.com
Sugar makes you stupid: Study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory
Rethink Your Drink: Sugar in Common Beverages
3 Sugar Vs. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Corny Disguise: FDA rejects new name for high fructose corn syrup
Genetically modified cows produce íhumaní breast milk
I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat Ė but farm it properly
Mexican Farmers Use Traditional Knowledge to Deal with Climate Change
Latest News from our Front Page
ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter.
But, you’d never know it from the liberal media.
The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public.
ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto.
It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda.
The Tatler reported, via Instapundit:
Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead.
The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power
The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power.
Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August.
“We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic.
“The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity
Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps.
Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages.
“Photos of certain ...
|More News » |