Midwest drought impacting SC crops & livestock

CLEMSON, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- This summer's drought and sweltering heat have been hard on corn crops, and researchers at Clemson University are looking at alternative foods for the country's cattle. While a smaller supply of corn from the Midwest is proving to be a boom for South Carolina farmers.

Researchers say feeding cattle grasses instead of corn may be an effective way to deal with this year's situation.

Corn prices have skyrocketed this year due to the low harvest. That means farmers are looking for alternatives when it comes to feeding their herds.

John Andrae is a forage expert at Clemson. He's also a member of the university's Center for Nutritional Physiology and Metabolism, which seeks to improve livestock genetics, health, nutrition and dinner-plate appeal.

Andrae recently worked on a study that focused on alternative feeds like Bermuda grass, alfalfa and cowpea. Another ongoing study is comparing grasses and legumes like soybeans.

The drought's inpact on the corn crop in the Midwest is good news for growers in South Carolina.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported that South Carolina farmers are expecting a good crop.

Georgetown County's Farm Service Agency director Kyle Daniel says those who planted early this year can expect success.

The U.S. Agriculture Department says the price of corn has risen from $5 a bushel in May to $8 a bushel this week.

Experts say the warm weather in February and March allowed the growers to plant early in South Carolina and avoid a late freeze. Tropical Storm Beryl provided rain in late May as the crop was filling out.

The Midwest is going through its worst drought in 60 years.

(The Associated Press Contributed to this report.)