Motorists traveling west on U.S. Highway 56 between Hillsboro and Lehigh Saturday may have noticed what appeared to be giant marshmallows along the roadway.
In some ways, it was a sweet treat, but not in the way some people might think.
The wrapped bales were actually a mixture of failed soybeans and milo with 35 percent moisture, said Rollind Bartel, who swathed the bales for buyer Gordon Twerberg of Cleburne, Texas.
With so many crops failing here because of no water and the hot temperatures this summer, the salvaged milo and soybeans are making their way to cattle and dairy farms in Hillsboro, Texas, south of Dallas-Fort Worth, to feed animals there and in other areas.
“It is a good way to salvage failed crops,” Bartel said.
Twerberg, who operates Enger Farms, hired Bartel to swath the crop and, in turn, he loaded the plastic-wrapped bales onto awaiting semi-trucks for delivery cattle and dairy feedlots in Texas.
Under ideal conditions, most producers want their soybeans and milo harvested for grain, not cattle feed, but not much about conditions this summer were ideal.
Bartel said he called Twerberg recently to see if he had any swathing he needed done, which was when he found out about this salvaged mixture.
It was Bartel’s understanding that farmers interested in selling their failed crop could expect about $40 a bale.
Although farmers aren’t in the business of dealing in “failed crops,” those willing to sell are not only helping themselves by recouping some of the money they lost, but are also helping feedlots and dairies needing their product, he said.