Saturday, August 25, 2012
Silage: Time to Start CHOP CHOP!
Sometimes it's silly to try and reinvent the wheel. It's harvest time again, or at least the beginning of it for us here, and that means cutting silage. The post below is an early one from my first year of blogging, so now it's a couple years old, but it's all good. I love the pics, the people are still the same, the machinery is still the same, and the field is still the same. The only difference is that it's taking 6 rows instead of the usual 4 to fill up the wagons, NOT a great sign for things to come, AND there isn't as much actual corn kernels in the silage. DRAT! Tall Guy used the combine to "open up" the field, which means he cut a swath big enough for the chopper and wagon to run through the middle of the field, and I think he took off some of the end rows. He saw the corn monitor go from 0-145, but the average was 50. That's a far cry from the 180-200 we are used to seeing. Something tells me a few "projects" might be on hold until later next year now. Sigh.... it happens right? But read on. This is what we do to make sure we have good food for our cows. It's called Chopping Silage.
Harvest started here on the farm Wednesday with our first crop. Silage is chopped when the corn is still a bit green, so that it will help "cure" itself in the the silo. You all have probably seen a silo before; it is a tall round tower-like structure, but I bet you never knew what was inside of it! For those of you that do farm, our corn tested about 29-30% moisture. It needs to be down to around 14-15% before we like to pick it to store in our bins, and we store just the kernels in the bins, no cobs or other parts!
Let me show you how we make our silage that feeds our cattle:
Ok, First we have to get out all the equipment. The rule on our farm is to put everything away ready to use the next time, so Tall Guy and his dad usually just give everything a once over with the grease gun, and then we are good to go!
Next, we bring out the wagons. These are special wagons that help move the silage around once it is blown inside. My friend from Cranberry Morning will like the fact that these wagons hale from Wisconsin. I think they are the only red pieces of farm machinery we have around here!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope today and the weekend bring you opportunities for fun and time with your families. The girls and I are headed back out to the soccer field tomorrow for morning games. Woo! At least I am pretty sure it will not rain on us tomorrow. Be safe and happy!