Struggling farmers feeding cows candy

(CNN) - Record corn prices are driving struggling farmers to find substitutes for cattle feed -- even candy.

Cows are eating sweets like chocolate bars, gummy worms, ice cream sprinkles, marshmallows, bits of hard candy and even powdered hot chocolate mix. That's according to cattle farmers, bovine nutritionists and commodities dealers.

Experts said the practice is not new; it's been going on for decades. Candy is a lot cheaper than grain feed right now. One livestock nutritionist says not only does it reduce farmers' feed costs but it lowers the cost for consumers, too.

Some farmers report the sugar in the candy seems to increase milk production by three pounds per cow per day.