Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Silage Harvest: Week 4 Recap

Our silage harvest continued on this week, chopping two rows of sorghum at a time at the slow but steady pace of two acres an hour. By the end of the week, three more fields had been harvested and our cows have roughly 180 more tons of feed ready to ensile. Most of our BMR-90 sorghum variety is now "in the pit", with just over an acre's worth left still standing in a field where we planted one row of that variety along with three of BMR-108 Leafy. The yield per acre wasn't quite as good this week, mostly attributable to drier conditions at planting. Dry weather and another week of maturity also impacted plant moisture at harvest, dropping the sorghum from 68-70% moisture down to 62-65%.

Even though we had a good run this week, we weren't immune from breakdowns and maintenance downtime. Our silage wagon needed a couple hours of welding done to it Tuesday morning to patch up cracks in its frame and bed, and a snapped driveline on the chopper cost a half a day's worth of chopping. We also had to start using a different tractor to pull and power the chopper on Friday as our JD7810 needs a new internal bearing around its PTO stub. We hope to have that tractor fixed and back in the field by the end of next week.

Here are a couple of photos from this week's action:

looking back at the dairy over a field of BMR-90 forage sorghum

chopping the first few rows of our BMR-108 Leafy forage sorghum

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