August 06, 2012
Record Drought Causes Deer Corn Prices to Skyrocket
By Chad Love
Unless you've won the geographic lottery and are lucky enough to live in one of the few remaining U.S. counties not considered disaster areas, you're probably aware that there's a bit of a drought going on right now.
And when you combine record drought in the nation's corn-producing region with the demands of livestock feed, ethanol production and the river of high-fructose corn syrup that is a staple of the modern diet, that pesky little law of supply and demand starts kicking in. And that means there are a whole lot of corn-fattened deer out there who may have to re-learn how to forage like wild animals this year.
From this story on gosanangelo.com:
Torrid temperatures and poor rainfall in America's heartland are forecast to suck feeder budgets dry as corn prices hit a record high last week.
Ben McCulloch, a San Angelo-area rancher, feeds several tons of corn to the wildlife each season. He is bracing for higher operating costs this hunting season. "My ranches are free-range areas, not high-fenced, and we try to hold our deer with feed," McCulloch said. "It takes about 90 bags of corn each time we fill the sites, and this procedure takes place several times each season." For someone who buys feed by the truckload, last week's record corn price of $8.20 per bushel for September delivery is bad news as the opening of the Texas hunting seasons approaches.
That's right: deer corn, which hunters in a number of states rely on to attract and hold deer to their hunting areas, is, quite simply, going through the roof. Now, without this getting into a debate over the ethics of baiting, this does beg the question: how much is too much before you stop feeding and take your chances with natural browse? Has the price of corn already affected how much you're pouring into your feeders?