Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Finished with the corn silage harvest

I disengaged the silage chopper as a dump truck carried out the last load of corn silage from our bottomland at 3:00pm this afternoon. After 74 loads cut off of 45 acres over the course of 15 days, I was glad to finally be able to close the book on the 2012 corn crop.

chopping corn silage
When considering what many other farmers across the country have suffered through this summer, I shouldn't be too disappointed with the result. After all, a marginal crop is much, much better than no crop at all. But it really was a sub-par yield for us, probably around 75% of our average yield and only 60% of last year's exceptional crop. Taking 15 calendar days to get in 6 actual days of harvesting (due to rain/wet ground) certainly didn't help the forage quality either, as the last third of the crop had matured and dried down significantly by the time we could chop it.  As I said though, it's not great but it is something. The crop didn't burn up to a complete loss due to drought, and it wasn't so wet in the bottom that we couldn't harvest it at all (as was the case with our sorghum in '09). 

fully-harvested corn field
So now we turn our harvesting attention squarely to our forage sorghum, and then on to sudex and bermudagrass hay. Will we go into the winter carrying as much total forage as last year? I dunno...I kind of doubt it. But we'll do the best we can with what we have to keep our cows and heifers healthy and happy, all so we can continue to provide you with high-quality milk and keep on doing what we love.  It's not always easy, but it's worth the fight!

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