Friday, May 13, 2011

Photo Friday: Recapping Spring Harvest 2011

We started harvesting our cool-season forages the second week of April. Now that we're finally finished, I thought I would give you a pictorial recap of what we've been doing over the past few weeks.

We harvested four varieties of cool-season forages this spring: rye, ryegrass, oats, and triticale (pictured).

During the first few days, we would mow down the crops in the late afternoon/early evening before chopping the following day.

 They say old equipment is the best equipment. I don't know about that, but at least our old equipment has long since been paid for. Our old John Deere forage harvester and its modified Gehl pick-up reel allowed us to chop over 70 acres of forage into silage.

 The chopped forage was dumped into our silage pits where most of it was packed and covered. A couple of dump truck loads were fed to the milking herd each day as greenchop.

We made it through the harvest with only one significant breakdown, though we had to adjust/repair/replace several chains on the chopper throughout the process. 

In addition to chopping the forage, we also harvested several acres of it as baleage.

Once we had finished harvesting the "good stuff" we planted in the Fall, we turned our attention to our hayfields where quite a bit of "volunteer" ryegrass has sprouted.  We mowed and dry baled it so the bermudagrass could start growing like it needed to.

With harvest completed, it was time to clean the equipment and park it under the sheds until we need it again.


Unknown said...

I'm imagining this is a lot like our silage process in early fall (August/early September). Our equipment is old too, but as you know, if it ain't broke, use it and if it is, grab some bailing wire and fix the darned thing if you can! ;-)

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