Peanuts For Cattle

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Tuesday meeting with agriculture commissioner Ron Sparks, an idea was proposed to use peanuts to feed cattle and while the idea makes sense; that it may not be the solution.

Because of the drought, feed for livestock seems to be the biggest issue for area cattle farmers and finding alternative sources is now a top priority.

A lack of food for cattle and a surplus of peanuts in the state; these are two major issues farmers are facing. Desperate times call for desperate measures:

And while it's a good idea, agronomist Dallas Hartzog says it's not realistic.

"There are many cheaper options for cattle feed. Soy hulls are one there are many others that are much cheaper per ton than peanuts," said Hartzog.

Not to mention that the surplus of peanuts is untouchable right now. The peanuts are being held by the government under a 7-year farm bill that won't expire any time soon.

Furthermore Hartzog recommends until the government can step in to help, farmers need to find answers for their own farms.

"These solutions will vary from farm to farm. What may work on one guy's farm may not be available to the next guy," said Hartzog.

In the meantime, farmers are still waiting for rain...which some say will be the only definite fix.

Even if the farm bill would allow for the surplus of peanuts to be fed to cattle researchers would still be hesitant. They say peanuts are a high-quality human food product and should not be used for animal feed.

Agronomists at the Wiregrass research and extension center in headland say they have only had two good rainfalls since March.

Wiregrass should have received 26-inches of rain by now but have only recorded 11.5 inches so far this year.


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