The High Cost Of Feeding

How many of you have bird feeders out right now? Most bird watchers at one time or another have put out one or more feeders for our feathered friends. For myself personally, I normally don’t put mine out till late Autumn when food starts to become scarce.

So it came as quite a shock the other day when I went to my local Tractor Supply Store to pick up a few necessities. Has anyone else noticed the price of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds? I didn’t expect to take out a second mortgage to buy a bag of sunflower seeds. I normally would buy a 40 pound bag which ran you about $13.00-$14.00 dollars. Yesterday, double that amount.

So the detective in me started to do some sleuthing about to see if there is any reason for the spike in prices. One of the obvious reasons is the increase of gas and diesel fuel, however is that reason enough to raise seed prices this much. From what I’m finding is that there’s no definite answer, mostly speculation. And since we’re dealing with a commodity, speculation can influence the price of items such as corn, wheat, pork bellies, and sunflower seeds.

Some suggest that a wet Spring, which in turn delayed planting as a factor. The total amount of acreage planted has been tossed around as a reason also. Then someone went out on a limb and suggested that the farmers are manipulating prices by storing seed for a couple of years (as long as it stays dry) to drive up prices.

The silver lining to all of this is that the fall crop has been harvested, so if they are holding onto silos full of seed, they’ll need room for all the new seed they just harvested. Then hopefully we’ll see prices drop.

So in the end what are we going to do? For me I’ll buy smaller bags of sunflower seeds and wait. I could introduce a premium mix instead of straight sunflower seed, however in the past the birds turn their little beaks up at that an scatter it all over the ground to rot. I’d rather spend the extra money and have them eat it than have it go to waste. So lets just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

5 responses to “The High Cost Of Feeding

  1. I agree that it is expensive to feed our birds, but I’ll continue to do so as long as I can. I’ve always paid a lot more than $13-$14 dollars for a large bag, so you’ve been getting a deal !

    • I agree that we tend to get spoiled when you can get a bag of sunflower seed so cheaply, but I’ve found that tractor Supply to offer some of the best prices out there. Even on thistle I’ve found they have real good prices. Most of the time I’m told of these sales by my friend you’s retired and makes periodic visits and lets me know when items go on sale. If you have one near you it would be worth a trip to save a few bucks. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Pingback: Yes! I Have Cardinals!! « New England's Narrow Road

  3. Pingback: The High Cost of Feeding/ Part 2 | A Birder's Notebook

  4. Here in the woods of southwest Wisconsin I often will go through a 50 lb bag every week in the winter and almost that much in the summer. I finally gave up feeding when the price hit $23 last year, I see it’s now 30 at our local farm store. Just two years ago I could find it for $10 if I watched the sale ads. I was told at the seed store that farmers have quit growing as much sunflower seed because corn and beans are so much more profitable which is what has driven the price up so much along with transportation. All I put out now is suet which I can get free at the locker when it’s not needed foe grinding with venison.

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