Farmer finds scrap metal attached to corn stalks in Bay, Arenac counties

Metal shavings found in cattle feed, search on for suspects
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Bay County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 5:03 PM EDT
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BAY COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A bizarre case out of Bay County as investigators there believe someone sabotaged a cornfield in what could have been an attempt to injure or kill cows.

“This is the first one for me, and I think the first in our area. It’s unknown why somebody would do something like this,” said Sgt. Don Duchene of the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators say a dairy farmer discovered pieces of metal attached to stalks of corn in three farm fields in Bay and Arenac counties. The metal was attached to the corn stalks with blue zip ties.

Some of the harvested crop was put through farm machinery before the pieces of metal were discovered and the grinding noise in this processor alerted the farm workers that something was wrong.

“The corn is put through a silage chopper -- basically to grind down the feed to feed the cattle -- and that’s when they discovered metal shavings inside there,” Duchene said.

The farm owner believes they caught most of the metal before it got into the cattle’s feed, but some of the shavings most likely got into the feed for his 3,000 to 4,000 cows.

“It could cause internal damage to the cattle itself there, which obviously he could lose livestock if it was fed to the actual cows,” Duchene said.

More than 1,000 acres of silage was lost and the estimated cost to the farmer is $500,000. The dairy farm owner said he is hoping Homeland Security gets involved in the investigation because of the threat the metal posed to the food supply.

“This is a dairy farmer, so obviously he is using his cattle for milk, but you need the cows first to make the milk. So if the cows are damaged you are not going to have the end result here,” Duchene said.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.

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