Farmers Feed Their Cows And Pigs Leftover Baked Goods, Expired Pet Food Due To Corn Price Surge

From The Daily Caller

Whitney Tipton Reporter

August 02, 2019 6:14 PM ET
High corn prices have made U.S. farmers look for low-cost substitutes for livestock feed including crops from South America, day-old bakery products and expired pet food.

A historic spring corn planting delay has driven up local prices of corn, which is used to feed hogs, cattle and poultry, forcing farmers to seek alternatives including outdated baked goods, Reuters reported.

“We’re already starting to ration our corn out,” said Jim Heimerl, an Ohio farmer who sells 700,000 pigs per year. Heimerl has recently started using pet food in place of corn.

“It’s only going to get worse and it’s all because of the weather,” he added.

Usually the highest cost of raising farm animals, finding substitute feed has been critical for producers looking to keep prices for agricultural products competitive in the $150 billion U.S. meat and dairy industry.(RELATED: Rural America Is Going Bust As Farm Bankruptcies Soar)

Farmers have incorporated substitutes including dry pet food that is outdated or mislabeled and recycled bakery products like breads, cakes and other sweets to reduce their dependence on corn.

“The bushels that are here are precious,” said Minnesota farmer Randy Spronk, who has started replacing 10% of his hogs’ meals with crushed baked goods he buys from ReConserve, which recycles bakery, cereal grain and snack foods.

“We’re trying to make them last as long as we can,” Spronk said.

Foreign corn is another option farmers have explored. Prestage Farms, based in North Carolina, said it has fed hogs imported corn from Brazil.

“We are looking everywhere to minimize the impact of high priced corn,” owner John Prestage told Reuters.

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98 thoughts on “Farmers Feed Their Cows And Pigs Leftover Baked Goods, Expired Pet Food Due To Corn Price Surge

  1. How do farmers transport their cows? In a mooooving van. That was an udderly brilliant idea.Nothing cowardly about that!

      • My first thought too. Why don’t they just stop wasting feedstock by feeding it to road vehicles. I went to fill up the bike yesterday and had the choice of 98 (E5) 98(E10) and superethanol(E85) . I was not even offered fuel without ethanol added (France). I don’t want this crap because it destroys some rubber components in my oldish BMW.

        Even though ecologists are finally realised making fuel out of food is not very “inclusive” and makes not sense in terms of CO2, it will probably take another decade to turn the ship around.

    • Definitely. Perhaps suspending the so-called renewable fuel standards would be in order. I would really like to see repeal, but as it amounts to a subsidy, getting rid of it is like getting rid of herpes,

      • I wonder if feeding the animals “Junk Food” and “Candy” will lead to a higher fat content per animal and/or rot their teeth out of their mouths making them unable to eat without dentures?

    • For the record, the mash left over from alcohol production is used as animal feed. Where wet feed can be used they transport it directly to the feedlot. If longer distances or feeding requirements prevent wet feed use, the mash is dried and shipped to the user. Some carbohydrate value is lost but nutrient value is still high. Feed lots or their suppliers will mill the feed to specific nutrient requirements and input costs. This is standard practice. Although I am somewhat ambivalent about alcohol fuel derived from grain, the idea that the grain used in ethanol production is lost from the feed stream is not true.

      • The grain, as you said, is mainly made of starch. ALL the starch that is converted into ethanol is lost from the feed stream (provided the cows do not drink it) Otherwise we will be creating matter.

    • Ethanol does not remove corn from the food chain. It just changes its form. A major by-product of the distillation process is distiller’s grain. It is a better feed than the corn was in the first place. It is not a good idea to feed only distiller’s grain to cattle without diluting it. It is too “hot” of a feed ration by itself.

  2. No insult meant, but is this not a glorious name for a breeder of pigs Minnesota? “….farmer Randy Spronk …”
    It reminds me of a girl I met in my teens, surname “Nollege”, parents’ choice of first name “Carmel”.

    • Geoff S

      The former case is known as nominative determinism (you become your name). The latter case is child abuse.

      Another phenomenon is cultural innocence. In some cultures there it is common to mmm pick a name that is easy for foreigners to pronounce. I know a Mr Dong who picked the first name Randy.

      • I used to know a guy who would get mad when people would get his name wrong and call him Harry, i.e., Harry Keister.

        • Must be fun to malfeas colleges surname “Keister”.

          Knowing that you’re hiding behind the anonymon icisil.

          Clever. And smart!

          • What is malfeas? It’s not an English word. Both of us were definitely laughing when he told me about it. He was a continual jokester, so when his clients called him that it pissed him off because they got one over on him and he didn’t have a funnier comeback.

          • No matter the subject, you are filled with butt hurt. What a sad a$$ed excuse for a life. Wipe the sand out’ya mangina and man up, sweety.

        • I knew him! Harri! Harri Assis. Used to be a fighter pilot,now he owns several HI Express locations. Advancing Human Culture and Science simply by letting people sleep under his roof. What a man!

        • My ex has a cousin with the first name of Gayle, everyone calls her Gay.
          She married a man with the last name of Love.

        • In the 60s, as a Sales Engineer, I had to call on an equipment purchasing agent that worked for M.W. Kellogg E&C Company. I had to curb by gaffaws ever time we met—- it was very difficult as his name was Peter Yanker. Seriously

      • Some years ago I recall reading a press announcement quoting a NASA spokeswoman who’s name was Constance Hubble.

        I’ve not seen a better one yet.

  3. ‘A historic spring corn planting delay..’ hmmm… what could have caused that?

    Is it this?

    ‘All across the farm belt record-breaking precipitation has been causing headaches for farmers with flooding of fields and excess soil moisture.’

    https://eu.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2019/06/02/crop-planting-delays-reach-historic-levels-2019/1325696001/

    Well, that is climate change. Not some random variation.

    See also:
    https://weather.com/news/weather/news/2019-05-14-one-of-longest-lived-mississippi-river-floods-since-great-flood-1927

    • yeah mate so ??? what you reckon did the 27 floods then?
      and so shortly after the 30s dustbowls?
      hmm
      gee thats hard isnt it.
      couldnt just be natural events now could it???

    • No, it’s weather change. If the unusually high precipitation continues for a few decades, then that would be climate change. Didn’t you even read the article you linked to that says the same thing happened in 1927, only worse? That was almost 100 years ago when CO2 was low. Idiot.

    • No it’s migrating polar bears one to one correlation which is all you need for Climate Stupids.

    • Yes, griff, the climate change is so severe that the flooding is almost as bad as it was 92 years ago.

    • So you are claiming the next weather pattern will occur next spring and summer? Put your money where your mouth is.

    • “Well, that is climate change. Not some random variation.”

      Exactly, it is climate change, not Climate Change™ , i.e. it is well within natural climate variations and not the result of a Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming Emergency.

      • “Not some random variation.”

        Also note, according to the IPCC, “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system”. There is a big difference between a chaotic system and a random system.

    • griff,
      It is only climate change if the wetness persists. Otherwise, it is anecdotal and weather.

    • If something is different from last year, then obviously CO2 whut dun it.

      PS: Biggest flood since 1927? What caused the flood in ’27 and why are you so convinced that the same thing didn’t cause this flood?

    • Bevor

      A bevor is a piece of plate armour designed to protect the neck, much like a gorget. A bevor can be made of a single solid piece or multiple articulated lames around the neck and chin. The bevor was typically worn in conjunction with a sallet, and later with a burgonet, in a form known as a falling buffe. In both cases the two pieces of armour combined to provide protection for the whole of the head and neck. Bevor is also the term used for the hinged plate protecting the lower face and throat in the close helm.

      No mention of pearls or pigs.
      Guess it was just a typo. (I’m very familiar with them!)

  4. “Usually the highest cost of raising farm animals, finding substitute feed has been critical for producers looking to keep prices for agricultural products competitive in the $150 billion U.S. meat and dairy industry.

    (RELATED: Rural America Is Going Bust As Farm Bankruptcies Soar)”

    ctm,

    “Farm Bankruptcies” may stem from competition.

    Neither from “prices for agricultural products” nor from “It’s only going to get worse and it’s all because of the weather,” he added.

    • You could get out of the walled city, but the farms were like fortresses.

      I can see keeping them behind city walls, where they don’t bother the rest of us. Definitely.

  5. Where I am in the vicinity of Toronto, we had a bad spring but right now the corn looks amazing.

    • yes and was commonly done until the supplement makers started buying up the fruit n veg processing waste to ValueAdd for greater profit than the original product makes;-?
      that waste used to go to cattle or pig or chooks
      and they did fine on it ,
      Im amazed theyve allowed the dry petfood to be used as its Banned in most nations due to possible CJD transfer, and thats why swill was also banned for pigs, might of had meat in it that carried…fill in whatever scare disease you want… seems its ok for dogs to get possible brain prion deseases but not livestock?
      normal cattle and cows producing untampered by hormones meat or milk didnt require insane protien value foods they ate grass and wild grass grains stover etc.
      like the fiddled hybrid crops they now need far more intake to keep the labcreated fast growth up.
      its just NOT sane or “normal ” to have a bent legged chicken due to massive weight gain and to be eaten in just a lousy 3 mths of lifetime.
      i see the failed corn crops that arent too mould infested prob going to grazing as about all they’ll be fit for.
      same as Aussie farmers did here for the drought stunted disasters we had last couple of yrs in many places.

    • Most people raising just a few pigs in the country hit up their local grocer for food past the sell-by date.

  6. When I were a boy we had swill bins by the school kitchen and everything we didn’t eat got scraped into them and sent to local piggeries….

    • We used to get slop from the school as well as the hospital. Being a nurse I now question the wisdom of getting hog food from the hospital but in any case we stopped that practice after we were forced to cook all of the slop before feeding it to the hogs. Shortly after that we got rid of the hogs.

      • Worked at a casino in Vegas with a friend who raised pigs. He would load the waste food into 55 gallon drums, into his OLD Datsun PU and drive it to his place in Pahrump 60 miles away. He always cooked the swill before feeding the pigs.

        He was allowed to take the stuff since he provided suckling piglets cooked for display on buffet lines for Hawaiian junkets 8 or 10 times a year. The Hawaiians loved that. Everyone in the kitchen helped to insure that the slop buckets had only slop, no trash. 5 days a week, 80 to 100 gallons of slop. He did that for about 10 years.

        He threw a great BBQ every year, usually with a goat cooked underground as well and the spitted pig. He was well liked so almost all waste food went into his buckets.

  7. I wrote these posts ~7 years ago – still true.
    The url’s are obsolete and should be updated but are close.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/05/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-57/#comment-1054427

    Time to End the Fuel Ethanol Mandate

    Re: the Forbes article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/31/the-ethanol-mandate-drought-only-compounds-inherent-catastrophic-consequences/

    With corn prices increasing to over $8 per bushel, it is surely time to end the ridiculous fuel ethanol mandate in the USA (and Canada). Almost 40% of the huge US corn crop is used for corn ethanol.

    This food-to-fuel folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, causing great suffering to the world’s poor – now poor AND HUNGRY.

    This ethanol policy was energy-nonsense from the beginning – but now it is causing increased world hunger.

    Oh, sorry, my bad – I forgot that these hungry people are all poor, so they don’t matter, apparently.

    Apologies, Allan
    ________

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/29/canada-yanks-some-climate-change-programs-from-budget/#comment-939257

    Excerpt:

    In North America, our greatest folly has been corn ethanol. Now, almost 40% of the huge US crop is used for corn ethanol – about 130 million tonnes per year of corn goes into our gas tanks, forced into gasoline by government mandates. This folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, at great cost to the world’s poor.

    Grid-connected wind power, solar power and corn ethanol all require huge life-of-project subsidies to survive, and would go bankrupt the minute these subsidies cease. Many of the subsidies are in the form of mandates – forcing power companies and gasoline suppliers to include these costly and counterproductive enviro-schemes in their products, at great expense to consumers.

    The radical environmentalists have been remarkably effective at forcing really foolish, costly and counterproductive schemes upon Western society. The backlash, when it comes, won’t be pretty.

    When you hear the term “green energy”, it’s not about greening the environment – it’s all about the money.

      • Growing corn loves weather that’s hot and humid – the conditions that many of us humans find uncomfortable, and just what we had in July.

        • And growing corn loves breezy conditions that continually refresh the CO2 within the standing corn field, as this keep the essential CO2 from being depleted and limiting corn plant growth.

      • R Shearer, insightful chart of corn price.

        Expanding the range to 5 years shows the current price is not unusual for that time period.
        Expanding the range to 10 years shows that the current price is about 1/2 the price in 2012.
        In 2012 is was drought (dry weather) caused by CAGW. This year is flooding (wet weather) caused by CAGW. Is there anything that magic molecule can’t do??

        Farmers must still use commodities futures markets to hedge against weather events?

    • Allen,

      I’m no fan of government subsidies of any kind, ethanol included. I was working for a large ag equipment supplier at the time so personally benefited from the high commodity prices indirectly through our profit sharing plan, and my mom still lives on the 160 acre farm she grew up on and gets a little income from that. I no longer work in the ag sector, but live in the heart of the corn belt and still keep up with the markets.

      Having said all of that, at the time all of the fuss about “food-for-fuel” I looked up price histories for all major commodity groups including, for example, metals and fuel. They were all moving in lockstep — no divergence between corn/maize specifically or ag in general vs. the others as would have been the case if ethanol were the sole cause. Try to remember what else was going on in the world at the time.

      And I just looked up some up-to-date commodity price histories. Look where food is relative to the others. Here’s one example:

      https://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/

      Depending on the reporting source, world corn stocks are at or near record highs. And news of high corn prices would come as a shock to the farmers who did get their corn planted and are faced with the possibility of losing money with corn under $4.00/bushel this fall. The market adjusted. Unfortunately there are hungry people in this world. Ethanol isn’t the reason.

      Kerry

    • “Despite the problems, corn is half the price today.”

      And that’s the PROBLEM: corn is half the price today.

    • Shearer, Paul and Kerry,

      Not sure why you are commenting as you have here – you seem to be missing the point.

      Are you saying that food-to-fuel is a good idea? If you are, we strongly disagree.

      Here is why food-to–fuel is unsound, both environmentally and from an energy standpoint:

      7. Radical greens have caused enormous harm to the environment, for example:
      – Clear-cutting the tropical rainforests to grow sugar cane and palm oil for biofuels;
      – Accelerated draining of the vital Ogallala aquifer in the USA for corn ethanol and biodiesel production;
      Reference: https://thsresearch.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/the-cost-of-society-of-radical-environmentalism/

      When food-to-fuel schemes require lifetime subsidies or use mandates as they do in the USA and Canada, it is probable that they are energy-neutral or even energy-negative – that is, they consume more energy than they produce. They are really farm subsidies, and are not beneficial from an energy standpoint.

      Regards, Allan

    • I am angered that I am charged more to buy ethanol-free gasoline, which costs less to produce, than the lousy gasoline with 10% ethanol in it. One of the not-so-well publicized side effects of burning any biofuel is that any nitrogen-containing molecules in the fuel (protein, for example) makes NOx, which completely negates any presumed GHG benefit of burning food as fuel.

      • There is no nitrogen in the ethanol added to gasoline. The distillation process insures that.

      • “I am angered that I am charged more to buy ethanol-free gasoline, which costs less to produce” Add me to that list, I drive farther and pay more so my equipment does not get damaged by crappy a$$ed ethanol-gas. Van engine is designed to use that crap, two stroke and small engines are not, it also degrades the light weight tubing used from tank to carburetor.

  8. As the Dalton Minimum runs its course, there will be many incidents of near-disaster in agriculture. Even though its expected that the average temperature will only drop a few degrees, the standard deviation around the average will be exciting. And scary.

  9. The global warming alarmists predicted future failure of the grain crop due to the climate becoming hotter and dryer – but it got colder and wetter.

    Time for these radical leftists to retrench and re-group – and come up with an even better falsehood, preferably a Non-Falsifiable Hypothesis:
    “IT’S CLIMATE CHANGE, I TELL YA – HOTTER, COLDER, WETTER, DRIER, IT’S ALL CAUSED BY THAT DEMON CO2!!!”

    I posted the following in 2016. I’m tired of being correct – think I’ll post something deliberately wrong, just for the heck of it!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/04/claim-500000-extra-deaths-per-year-from-malnutrition-by-2050/comment-page-1/#comment-2159294

    Agree Mark – and I think we are due for global cooling, probably starting before 2020. I hope to be wrong..

    The one possible mitigating factor is the ~40% of the USA corn crop devoted to biofuels and the ~36% devoted to animal feed – one assumes this land could be seeded in sweet corn suitable for human consumption.

    • Plus 12C this morning at 7:30am here in Calgary.

      That’s less than 54F. And it’s mid-summer – August 7!

      Where in heck is this global warming we’ve all been promised?

      Oh yes – it’s now called “Climate Change”, or “Wilder Weather”, or “Climate Crisis”, or whatever… A new scary term every other day, to stampede the sheep.

      Well I’ve had enough – I was promised global warming and I want some $#%^& global warming! It’s damned near freezing here and it’s supposed to be summer!

  10. Never heard of feeding cows dog&cat food, pigs would love it. I know and have known farmers who use expired baked goods and produce to feed cattle, no big thing and not new at all.

    Seeing as corn and other crops are going to be down this season in America perhaps it is time for an EO putting a moratorium on corn use for fuel, say for 3 years. At the end re-evaluate its use in fuels period.

  11. Stupid premise for the article. Feeders always look for cheaper sources of feed stock for their herds. They often use candy to sweeten silage for cows. Yes corn has rallied but there is only regional shortages of corn, east and south east, as the rest of the cornbelt is still holding plenty, before the spring planting issues corn carryout was projected at 2.2 BILLION bushels and was weighing heavily on corn prices. Since then China lost maybe 50% of its swine herd and therefore the need for Soymeal and Corn used to feed them, the rest of Asia is also infected with African Swine Flu and having to cull herds which further reduces demand for US corn. South America has increased production to take advantage of the US/China trade war, further cutting US export demand. The only way the US has a corn issue is if the late crop gets an early frost, mid Sep full moon, which could cut the crop back further and reduce the crop and carry out to 1.1 Billion bushels which would be somewhat tight for corn stocks.

  12. This is much ado about nothing. There appears to be plenty of alternatives and farmers are making the necessary adjustments to feed their animals. I’m sure the price of pork will go up a bit but it’s already very low cost. Typical Reuter’s story complete with hand wringing.

  13. Idea for a Josh ‘toon: Two stereotypical farmers shooting the breeze, one chewing on a stalk of straw. The other has a cannister labeled “corn ethanol” which he is in the process of pouring into the pig’s (or cow’s) chow, saying”I hear it also helps keep them from freezing up in the winter time”.

  14. Farmers have been feeding their cows and pigs and chickens left-overs for more than two thousand years. They’ve done it commercially for nearly 20 years across the US and there’s one guy outside Vegas who barely has to buy his pigs anything anymore.

  15. Our ethanol policies are misguided and serve no purpose other than reward big agribusiness and to preserve viability in the Iowa caucuses. Remove Iowa as the earliest primary contest and these policies will soon be abolished.

  16. Color me unsurprised! When I was a youngster ( many decades ago) we supplemented the grazing and grain-based feed for our Aberdeen Angus herd with “day old” bread from a large, but local, bakery. I do think that using corn for food is insane, whether it’s for people or animals.

  17. That picture of cows eating is incorrect for this article!

    “A pair of milk cows eat 29 December 2003 in a lot near Greeley, Colorado. (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)”

    You can see that what is in the cows feeding trough is silage, not corn!
    Feeding corn to cows is high risk. Corn sugars/starches produce excessive fermentation where coarse fibrous silage is normal.
    Stock yards may feed corn/grains to cattle for a few weeks before slaughter to increase their weight and improve meat marbling. Even then, the corn is in addition to silage, not instead.

    No farmer ever purposely feeds dairy cows corn except in dire circumstances!

    “Farmers have incorporated substitutes including dry pet food that is outdated or mislabeled and recycled bakery products like breads, cakes and other sweets to reduce their dependence on corn.

    “The bushels that are here are precious,” said Minnesota farmer Randy Spronk, who has started replacing 10% of his hogs’ meals with crushed baked goods he buys from ReConserve, which recycles bakery, cereal grain and snack foods.”

    This borders on fake news! And malfeasance.
    It is not unusual for hog/pig farms to contract with all local restaurants and grocery stores for their food wastes. That is what pigs do wonders with! Pigs turn foods that humans consider waste, unseemly, dirty foods, discarded foods, decomposing foods, etc. into healthy pork.

    We are now in the first week in the month of August!
    August is when this year’s dent corn crop, i.e. dried corn, begins to fully ripen and dry. Harvesting fully dried dent corn starts the last two weeks of August and proceeds until late Fall.

    This means that ALL of the corn currently fed to animals is from last years crop!
    Any feeder claiming shortage of feed corn is therefore claiming that insufficient corn remains from last years bumper crop.
    Claims like this are akin to Enron’s energy auctions where Enron choked energy supplies until prices shot up, then sold energy at maximum prices.
    It appears that feed companies are hoarding corn in hopes of higher prices next Spring – Early Summer.

    I hope America is once again blessed with a significant corn crop that causes corn hoarders to lose their shirts.

  18. I grew up on a family farm. Cows, horses, hogs, cattle, chickens, turkeys, as well as about 300 acres of row crops, wheat and hay. A true family farm, not an industrial farm.

    One of our neighbor farmers was the brother-in-law of the local grocery. The neighbor would go to the grocery and load up all of the stale perishables; bad (rotting) fruit and veggies; as well as the bread, cookies, eggs, etc. that had not been sold by the expiration date. He made arrangements with groceries in adjacent small towns to do the same with them. Then he’d bring it all back and feed it to his hogs. It was a smart move. By no means was the food enough to replace the hog feed he bought from the mill, but it supplemented it. This was in the early ’70s.

  19. When China embargoed US soy, prices rose >25%, and pig farmers started using food waste.

    Ask them how that worked out 🙂

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