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Wed Oct 10, 2012, 06:40 AM

Cash-strapped farmers feed candy to cows

Source: CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Cattle farmers struggling with record corn prices are feeding their cows candy instead.

That's right, candy. Cows are being fed chocolate bars, gummy worms, ice cream sprinkles, marshmallows, bits of hard candy and even powdered hot chocolate mix, according to cattle farmers, bovine nutritionists and commodities dealers.

"It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. in Eagle, Neb.

Feeding candy to cows has become a more popular practice in tandem with the rising price of corn, which has doubled since 2009, fueled by government-subsidized demand for ethanol and this year's drought. Thrifty and resourceful farmers are tapping into the obscure market for cast-off food ingredients. Cut-rate byproducts of dubious value for human consumption seem to make fine fodder for cows. While corn goes for about $315 a ton, ice-cream sprinkles can be had for as little as $160 a ton.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/10/news/economy/farmers-cows-candy-feed/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_business

39 replies, 4708 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cash-strapped farmers feed candy to cows (Original post)
JonLP24 Oct 2012 OP
theinquisitivechad Oct 2012 #1
Born Free Oct 2012 #39
jerseyjack Oct 2012 #2
groovedaddy Oct 2012 #4
NickB79 Oct 2012 #3
proReality Oct 2012 #15
cstanleytech Oct 2012 #17
RC Oct 2012 #27
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #35
dipsydoodle Oct 2012 #5
Evasporque Oct 2012 #6
RitchieRich Oct 2012 #7
Thor_MN Oct 2012 #9
Vinca Oct 2012 #8
madrchsod Oct 2012 #12
PavePusher Oct 2012 #20
Vinca Oct 2012 #22
PavePusher Oct 2012 #24
NickB79 Oct 2012 #38
Robb Oct 2012 #10
madrchsod Oct 2012 #11
JonLP24 Oct 2012 #13
PavePusher Oct 2012 #21
RC Oct 2012 #29
PavePusher Oct 2012 #31
RC Oct 2012 #33
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #36
bulloney Oct 2012 #14
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2012 #16
Historic NY Oct 2012 #18
Duer 157099 Oct 2012 #19
FedUpWithIt All Oct 2012 #23
formercia Oct 2012 #25
rebuke Oct 2012 #26
KamaAina Oct 2012 #28
christx30 Oct 2012 #30
undeterred Oct 2012 #32
Bullionwar Oct 2012 #34
NickB79 Oct 2012 #37

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:08 AM

1. Wow.

What a horrible machine our food-production system has become.

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Response to theinquisitivechad (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:16 AM

39. Not sure if it is worse today

Many years ago, the less than perfect candy, under weight etc. would have been sold to humans but today's standards are higher so any product that is found to be less than 100% is sold as cattle feed. There was a time when the company would sell underweight candy to employees but then they had problems with employees selling the candy as retail quality at flea markets etc. It is not a big deal that candy is being sold as feed, you probably would not want to buy candy that was dropped on the floor, but the hogs at the hog farm do not care as they eat from the ground. If you ever spent time around a family farm with hogs you know a lot of leftovers gets thrown out for the hogs. You can't have it both ways, either you want higher standards for human consumption or not.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:24 AM

2. News flash for CNN --- --- --- this has been going on for decades.

 

The Hershey plant has a separate building where scrap candy is piled and sold by the ton to local farmers for their cattle and swine. The by-product is worth about $100 per ton.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:39 AM

4. It does say exactly that in the article

"It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. in Eagle, Neb.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:27 AM

3. We send waste cottage cheese and yogurt to hog farms

At the dairy plant I work at

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:29 AM

15. That is good for the hogs, but


all that sugar going into cows doesn't seem healthy for them or us.

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Response to proReality (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 11:22 AM

17. I would think being served at the dinner table might be a tad unhealthier for the cows. nt

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Response to proReality (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:36 PM

27. Sugar? What sugar.

 

That 'sugar' is High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is just the essence of corn. Round up ready corn. Roundup ready cows.

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Response to proReality (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 11:43 AM

35. All it will do is help them put on fat quicker

 

so not different than any other kind of animal raised to a similar level of fatness.

The sugar doesn't get transported intact to deposits in their muscles.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:40 AM

5. Moo, moo..........

M & M's please.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:47 AM

6. Bovine Type 2 Diabetes Reaches Epidemic numbers...nt

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:48 AM

7. not exactly the most serious story I've decided to share

from DU, with my friends on FB, but I'm sure my a-political friends will appreciate the break.

I know there is a Homer Simpson joke in this story just begging to be set free.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:41 AM

9. mmmm....Chocolate flavored steak....

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:13 AM

8. If they can't feed their animals properly, they shouldn't be allowed to have them.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:20 AM

12. there is an ongoing severe drought across the plains and the corn belt

so do`t worry about the animals because there`s going to be a lot less of them if the drought continues into next year.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:27 PM

20. What does "feed their animals properly" mean....

 

and what are your credentials for making such claims?

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #20)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:29 PM

22. Point me to the veterinarian who believes candy is an adequate diet for any animal.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:54 PM

24. I'm guessing you didn't read the entire article, did you?

 

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Response to Vinca (Reply #22)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 04:35 AM

38. Candy isn't their diet. Candy is the supplement to their diet

All cattle, no matter where they are raised, derive 80-90% of their calories from fodder, ie hay, silage, and grass. Corn and soy are used for the last 10-20% to fatten them up with extra calories for faster slaughter and higher milk output.

A cow raised on straight corn or soy would die just as fast as one raised on straight candy. And virtually all the major dairies have private vets onsite that monitor the herds these days. Farming isn't like it used to be, unfortunately

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:54 AM

10. This happens every time grain prices are high.

I remember in the 90s stale kids' cereal was a big seller for cattle producers to add a sugar to the feed. Alternatives also include spent grain from distilleries and breweries.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:15 AM

11. thanks to the republicans there`s no farm bill this year which means...

higher prices for gasoline,milk products, consumer products, and government assistance programs will not be funded.

there is`t any meetings scheduled until next year. even if they scheduled for october it would be to late this year and would`t be passed until late january or febuary.

we have to take back the house!!!

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:21 AM

13. While I was watching the post-debate coverage

for the Montana Senate debate someone mentioned that they don't plan on taking on the farm bill until the lame duck session -- so after the first Tuesday of November.

BTW - The School of Journalism for the University of Montana has some excellent fact checkers. I wish they worked National Presidential debates.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:29 PM

21. There should be no government subsidy of any industry, including agriculture. n/t

 

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:44 PM

29. Oh really?

 

So farmers that have to buy retail and sell wholesale, gamble on the weather, nature, and what other farmers plant, should just wing it to survive?
Where does your food come from? The grocery store?

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Response to RC (Reply #29)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:15 PM

31. So, we can pay the true cost of food directly at the store...

 

or hide the true cost by subsidies to farmers out of taxes.

I'll chose the honest option, thanks.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #31)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 12:55 AM

33. Doing things your way would guarantee that only corporate factory farms would be left.

 

That would not help lower food prices. There is a lot more to farm subsidy's and farm loans than you realize. It is far more complicated than tax money to farmers.

You are echoing Republican talking points.

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Response to RC (Reply #29)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 11:45 AM

36. That would be ludicrous

 

Small, non-grain/animal producers should have to take all those risks while the agrigiants get massive payouts to churn out corn, soy, and related animal products in quantities that are killing us and producing record profits for them.

/the ma and pa farmer churning out healthy foods to feed Americans and support a modest lifestyle on their back forty is a popular icon of American agriculture. It is far from the reality though.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

14. If you feed the cattle Black Cows, would it be considered cannibalism?

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 11:19 AM

16. As long as the drought...

and ethanol mandates continue, so will this. Given that money writes legislation (be realistic- K street makes the laws), you would think that the cattle, gas, and soft drink industries would band together and get rid of this ethanol crap in our gas.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:16 PM

18. Its going to rot their teeth.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:25 PM

19. I bet the cows love it

As long as they are getting vitamins supplemented, sugar is sugar, whether from corn or candy. Hell, if I knew I was destined for the chopping block, I might like a diet of candy too.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:37 PM

23. Pasture raised beef has more...

vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA. Pasture raised beef is also more natural (improving soil while naturally disposing of waste) and humane.

Buy local and humane. It may cost a little more but the benefits are directly proportionate to the increased cost.

Edited to add that heritage breeds typically convert pasture better and are also sometimes able to thrive on marginal pasture. These breeds are now rare due to the fact that they do not fit well into a commercial farming structure. They grow slower and do not survive well in factory farming conditions. The only remaining sources of these heritage breeds, and the far healthier meat the comes from them, is the small farmer. Its not hard to envision the day when the factory farming system can no longer sustain itself due to the instability of environmental conditions, and the hardier and more natural growing livestock are nearly depleted.

Most of the breeds of franken-animals, preferred in factory farming, would not survive in a natural system without massive human inputs and without the use of huge amounts of oil.



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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 06:39 PM

25. Red Meat is Poison

I feel much better since I quit eating it.

Pork is next.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 06:53 PM

26. I believe

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:38 PM

28. Happy cows come from drought years.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:50 PM

30. Is this where

chocolate milk comes from?

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:41 PM

32. So by becoming a vegetarian I actually gave up candy?

Something ain't right.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 02:24 AM

34. Feed Leftover Vegetables & Green Stuff

 

Collect leftover vegetables and green stuff from people's houses and feed them to the cows.

Farmers can herd their cattle in forests and grasslands for free fodder.

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Response to Bullionwar (Reply #34)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 04:31 AM

37. The cost of collection and transport would be very high

At a minimum, you'd probably need refrigerated trailers to stop the food from rotting before reaching the livestock.

And herding cattle into forests? Really? I've seen what cattle do to forests here in the Midwest; they absolutely destroy them. Seedlings trampled, wildflowers stomped down, wildlife driven out. Eventually even the large trees die as the soil is compacted and their feeder roots are crushed.

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