Cattle farmers faced with the rising cost of feed corn are looking for alternative products to feed their animals.
Prices of feed corn has more than doubled, from $3.65 per bushel in August 2010 to $7.35 per bushel in September 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Severe droughts in the Central U.S. States forced many cattle ranchers to sell their livestock due to the inability to feed them. The rising cost of feed has left those who still own cattle searching for the least expensive feed available.
|State||Departure from Normal||Dryness Rank||Dryness Record Year||State||Departure from Normal||Dryness Rank||Dryness Record Year|
|Iowa||-5.16 in.||11th||1988||Michigan||-0.24 in.||48th||1934|
|Illinois||-8.79 in.||4th||1936||Nebraska||-7.15 in.||2nd||1934|
|Indiana||-7.72 in.||6th||1895||Kansas||-4.98 in.||10th||1936|
This table reports the rainfall totals departures from average covering the months of January to August 2012 for the six largest U.S. corn producing states. The information was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Now, the cattle owners are turning to some sweet treats as cheaper, alternative feed. Powdered hot chocolate mix, gummy worms, marshmallows and ice-cream sprinkles are a few of the sugary substitutes farmers are mixing in with the cow's regular feed, according to CNN.
The farmers purchase out-of-code product at a reduced price. CNN reported that ice-cream sprinkles can be purchased for as little as $160 a ton. Currently, a ton of corn costs about $294.
"They are purchasing product that can't be sold but is still edible," said American Sprinkle Company Vice President of Sales Ken Brockman. "We can't even make the sprinkles for that price, the sugar and starch used to make it cost more than $160 a ton."
Farmers are mixing powdered hot chocolate mix and marshmallows into their cattle feed due to a shortage of corn. Photograph is courtesy of Photos.com.
The sugar contained in the candy is not harmful to the cattle. Human consumable product from the animals will not be harmful to people due to sugars consumed by the cows.
As July draws to a close, a storm system swinging up from the Deep South will bring downpours that will break the back of the heat wave in much of the northeastern United States.
A renewed risk of severe weather will threaten portions of the north-central United States into midweek.
Heavy downpours will raise the concern for flash flooding along the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley through midweek.
A stifling heat wave will remain entrenched across the Northeast much of this week, despite a brief reprieve in humidity for some.
Dangerous heat will surge northward and send temperatures rising across the northwestern United States this week.
Severe thunderstorms rumbled through the Northeast on Monday, lashing the region with damaging winds while also unleashing heavy downpours that triggered flash flooding.
Pueblo, CO (1993)
A double record: 52 degrees in the morning and 101 degrees in the afternoon.
Chester County, PA (1994)
1.5" of rain in 30 minutes.
Wildwood, NJ (2000)
More than 4" of rain.