North America, Smart Farming

Do cows like potatoes? Inflation is causing one Canadian farmer to find out

As Maria Iqbal reports for the Toronto Star, Lieven Verschaeve is serving up something new on his 500-acre farm in Blyth in Canada’s Ontario province. The dairy farmer and his son, Ward, used to feed their Holstein cows dry corn grown on their farm, where they also harvest hay, soybean and winter wheat.

But seeing rising prices, Lieven began feeding his cows potatoes. Spuds have the same amount of starch, a feed consultant told them, and could save the family big time. Corn costs about $400 per metric tonne — while potato cost less than $50. Though Lieven needed five kilograms of potatoes to replace every kilogram of corn, he said it still came out to about half the cost.

And the cows don’t seem to mind. “They love it,” Lieven said. “They eat them like apples,” Ward chimes in.

Max Hansgen, Ontario co-ordinator for the National Farmers Union, said farmers are being hit by rising costs in three major areas: production (which includes fertilizer, pesticide, etc.); transportation (including fuel costs); and labour, which he says is facing intense competition as Canada sees record low unemployment.

Source: Toronto Star. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit and courtesy Toronto Star

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