Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ryegrass harvest

It's been a busy two weeks, but we're nearly finished with our ryegrass harvest for this year. Our yields have been comparable to last year, and we should have enough harvested to make it our milking herd's primary forage from June until possibly as late as early October. Up to this point we have cut and chopped just over 75 acres with 12-15 more to go. Depending on the weather, we may pass on chopping a few of those acres in favor of rolling a few bales of dry ryegrass hay.

We will follow our ryegrass with a BMR forage sorghum variety just as we did last year, but we won't be planting that crop for at least a month. Next up on our "farming" agenda is planting our silage corn, which we tried to do two weeks ago but got rained out. That was probably a blessing considering we've had barely a sprinkle since then. If all goes perfectly (which, of course, it never does) we'll have our corn planted by the end of next week, spend the next vaccinating heifers and doing some pasture maintenance, followed by our first cutting of bermudagrass hay.

Here are a few photos from our ryegrass harvest, followed by my latest MooTube Minute video update:

We mow the ryegrass with a hay conditioner, which leaves the cut grass in a windrow.

Our silage chopper (forage harvester) is a bit of a hybrid. The chopper itself is a John Deere,
but the forage head is a Gehl model my father modified to attach to the Deere.

Once the forage wagon is full, it dumps over into the truck.
The truck then hauls the ryegrass to the silage pit/bunker where it is packed.

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