Monday, September 12, 2016

Earlage Chopping Highlights

We chopped earlage last week (9/8) and it went really well. 

Normally when you harvest corn you just harvest the corn: the cobs, husks, and stalks are thrown out the back of the combine. Earlage you harvest the corn, husk, and cob (we use for cattle feed). Silage you harvest the majority of the plant: corn, cob, husk, and stalk (for feed, also).

The decision to feed earlage for our cattle is basically for the ration we feed to the cattle. Earlage has more roughage than straight corn, but less roughage than silage. So, if we feed corn we'd need to add more roughage (like hay), and if we feed silage we'd need to feed more corn to balance out the ration needed. Earlage is an in-between and works for our rations and feed options.

Here are some of the "highlights" from the day as taken through Snapchat.  I didn't get the end of the day because I ran out of battery!

I was in charge of a wagon like the one ahead of me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cover Crops 2016

COVER CROPS!!  I hear about it all the time in the news, at field days, etc.  But I learn the most on our own farm.  This year was difficult in deciding what to do for cover crops.  As most probably know, budgets are tight this year.

We sat down and finally decided the plan (always subject to change on the farm, mind you).  Our plan is:
  • Use a Hagie to plant our corn acres with rye.  These fields will be harvested later, so they’ll have more time to grow. 
  • Use a drill to plant our soybean acres with rye.
  • We have one corn field that will be harvested first for earlage - that field will also be drilled. 
We’ve never used a drill before, so this *could* be interesting! 

The Hagie came out on August 31st and seeded the first of our acres to rye.  This machine is pretty cool!  We used a Hagie this year because the weather was perfect for it!  I am excited to see what the cover crop looks like when we harvest the corn!

Cover Crop History: