Sugar rush for cows as gummy worms replace costly corn feed
2012 09 25
By Carey Gillam | Reuters.com
Mike Yoder’s 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.
"It’s 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 year’s 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. "It’s 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 animals’ 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 can’t.
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.
"That’s 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 it’s 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 ’human’ breast milk
I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly
Mexican Farmers Use Traditional Knowledge to Deal with Climate Change
Latest News from our Front Page
6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine.
Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.”
Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia."
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
|More News » |