KFSN reports California livestock producers are choosing alternative feed options, balancing feed costs with cow production as corn prices have shot 60 percent higher in the past year.
University of California Dairy Advisor Jerry Higginbotham says corn has increased from 180 dollars per ton to 300 dollars per ton in the past year and farms are seeking by-products in the feed mix to keep cows eating. Crude oil, ethanol and global corn demand are major factors in the elevated corn prices.
Many California dairy farms have closed due to high prices.
Jamie Bledsoe, a California dairyman has reduced feed costs by adding orange pulp and fruit by-products to corn, alfalfa hay and silage.
"Yes we feed everything here. Citrus, culled fruit, pomegranates. We've fed them all to our cows," Bledsoe told KFSN.
Bledsoe takes steps to make sure he’s using fruit and fruit by-products in dairy feed correctly. His nutritionist on the farm monitors the cows’ milk production to ensure it’s consistent.
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Source: ABC - KFSN