Drought has caused corn to become prohibitively expensive for many ranchers in Kentucky, forcing them to look elsewhere for livestock feed.
United Livestock Commodities in Mayfield, for instance, has turned to candy.
"It has a higher ratio of fat than actually feeding straight corn," said owner Joseph Watson, who has made candy the main source of nutrition for his 1,400 cows. "It's hard to believe it will work," he added, "but we've already seen the results of it now."
Watson purchases rejected candy deemed unfit for human consumption and combines it with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient before giving it to his cattle.
"This ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it," said Watson, noting that the cows appear to be healthy and are gaining weight as expected.