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News 2466 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Alternative feed for hungry US cattle

Cattle farmers in the US 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 US Department of Agriculture.

Severe droughts in the Central US 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.

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 CNNMoney.

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 tonne. Currently, a tonne 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 tonne."

Farmers can save 10 to 50% 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.

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