Minnesota livestock producers often hurt by high corn prices

MINNESOTA - Minnesota livestock producers say the ethanol-fueled rise in the price of corn could drive their businesses into the red, and force them to find other foods with which to feed their cattle and swine.
calendar icon 1 December 2006
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"How long corn prices will stay at $3 will be a determining factor of when livestock producers will return to profitability," said University of Minnesota Extension Educator Dave Bau. "The longer they are unprofitable, the less time they can exist."

Bau said with corn prices at more than $3.30 a bushel, about $1.80 higher than a year ago, it will cost producers significantly more to feed their livestock.

For a dairy cow and her calf, that's an additional $216 worth of corn a year, based on an annual ration of 120 bushels of corn. Pork producers would likely spend an extra $189 per sow and her litter, while beef producers are looking at an extra $81 worth of corn to feed their finishing steers.

"What the corn price does, that will be the impact," Bau said. "Unfortunately, both the feeder market and the hog market are going down, and I don't know if they can net out a profit right now."

The search for a replacement for corn has already begun. "Maybe producers will use soybeans in their ration more -- or other commodities," he added. "They'll look at whatever the cheapest source of ration is (in place of) their corn."

Source: AgriNews

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