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.
Rain and thunderstorms spreading to the East on Tuesday will put the brakes on the warmup following Easter weekend.
While remaining on a localized level through Tuesday, severe weather will ramp up across the Plains on Wednesday.
Although spring may be in full swing, more than one-third of the Great Lakes remains covered in ice.
A potent area of low pressure moving into the West will dictate the weather from Washington to Texas heading into the new week.
After taking a tumble Easter Sunday, temperatures will quickly rebound in Boston for Patriots' Day.
There hasn't been any measurable precipitation in San Francisco since April 4.
Late season cold wave: Douglas, WY - 12 degrees (April record) Lander, WY - 10 degrees Cheyenne, WY - 2 degrees
Marquette, MI (1982)
8" of snow fell in Marquette, MI, on this date. This brought the total snowfall to 240" for the winter -- an all-time record.
Southeastern VA (1991)
Torrential rain; 5.89" at Norfolk broke the 24-hour record for April (5.19" set in 1883). This was the most rain in one event since Hurricane Cleo dumped 11.40" from August 31 to September 1, 1964.