Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring silage harvest...done.

We filled up a silage pit last week with about 63 acres worth of chopped rye, and so this week we prepared another pit and set out to harvest our remaining 17 acres.

We started mowing the rye down on Tuesday afternoon and put the chopper in the field late Wednesday morning. After only about 3 acres, my father (who was operating the chopper) started noticing an out-of-place squeaking noise. After investigating, he found that we had a bearing on the verge of going out. To remedy the situation, he poked a hole in the bearing's seal and injected oil into it with a syringe and needle after every couple of loads. That seemed to do the job, and he was able to keep the chopper going the rest of the day.

We weren't quite as lucky on Thursday. After three acres with five more to go, a different bearing locked up and ended our chopping for the day. We decided to hook up the hay baler and the wrapper so we could harvest the remaining rye as baleage.

All told, we averaged harvesting seven tons of rye per acre (at 68% moisture). The silage is sealed up in both pits and should be ready to be fed to our cows once our sorghum silage from last Fall runs out in 3-4 weeks. I think we should have plenty of rye silage to last until we have harvested our corn and it is ready to feed early this Fall.

If you'd like to see what our recently planted cornfields are looking like and hear a little more about our rye harvest, you can check out this GDF MooTube Minute below:


Anonymous said...

What kind of baler do you use to make your silage baler? Does it have a cutter in it?

Will Gilmer said...

We use a Gehl mower/roller conditioner to cut it down, then bale it with a New Holland 740 "Silage Special".