Tag Archives | Livestock

Corn Shortage Sees Farmers Turn To Junk Food For Feed

Picture: Derived from work by Airstrom (CC)

Extensive drought damage throughout the U.S. has led to the smallest corn crop in six years, and in turn a dramatic increase in price for the versatile foodstuff. Beef farmers in particular are incredibly reliant on corn to feed their vast numbers of livestock, and the shortage has seen many farmers creatively supplementing their herd’s diets. The Vancouver Sun reports:

In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.

“Everybody is looking for alternatives,” said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. “It’s kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed.

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Disturbing Ritual Livestock Mutilations Strike Colorado Ranches

Satanists, aliens, or sociopathic sadists? One of these is at the heart of a gruesome mystery lurking within a valley of the Rocky Mountains. Via the Denver Post:

Recent livestock mutilations have Gunnison area ranchers shaken and on the alert for more strange attacks on cattle and horses.

A horse was shot and had its head skinned at the LeValley Ranch property, about eight miles east of Gunnison. The horse also had its tongue and anus removed. Less than two months ago, a prize heifer in the same heavily traveled area had its tongues, lips and anus removed. Two other incidents took place on other ranches in that vicinity in May and July.

“To me it looks like a ritualistic issue. Either that, or they are high on drugs. There is just no logical explanation for it,” said Esty Ranch owner Mike Clarke.

The recent mutilations have similarities to mutilations that occurred in the 1960s in neighboring Saguache County.

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Food Ark: Will Seed Banks Save Our Sources of Food?

“Experts estimate that we have lost more than half of the world’s food varieties over the past century”. Charles Siebert writes in National Geographic:

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply — but we must take steps to save them.

Six miles outside the town of Decorah, Iowa, an 890-acre stretch of rolling fields and woods called Heritage Farm is letting its crops go to seed. It seems counterintuitive, but then everything about this farm stands in stark contrast to the surrounding acres of neatly rowed corn and soybean fields that typify modern agriculture. Heritage Farm is devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds.

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