Corn Harvest on the Farm

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Summer has winded down, and I have to tell you I am looking forward to a slower pace. But before  we can button up the field work and call it done the field corn needs to be harvested and stored for winter.

I almost choked on my coffee when I reread “the field corn needs to be harvested and stored for winter”. That almost sounds simple.

It’s not.

It is a massive job.

So massive we work with another family farm in our area to get it done.  And even with the joint effort it will still take a month. Hours will be spent in tractors, the days will be long, sleep will happen after corn has been chopped.  Everyone will feel the strain of putting up enough corn silage to feed two beef cattle herds all winter.  And they like to eat.

Redcow

corn Corn silage is made by cutting and chopping the entire stalk of corn, and packing the chopped corn into an oxygen limited environment, like a silo, mound covered with plastic (you may notice these mounds on large dairy farms, the plastic is usually held down with tires) or in a Ag-bag, a long plastic tube that lies on the ground. We use Ag-bags.

corn chopping

The corn is chopped by the chopper and loaded into a wagon. This is were the joint forces come in handy, enough people are needed to keep two wagons the chopper and the bagger in constant motion.

corn chopping2

Once the chopped corn is transported to the bagger it is tightly packed into the Ag-bag where it will stay until it is needed, basically when Upstate New York becomes a frozen tundra. The cows will nosh on a combination of this silage, hay and grain all winter. It’s a lot of work, but it will keep the cows fat and happy all winter 🙂

So that is pretty much all we are up to right now. How is your fall going? I am looking forward to picking pumpkins, sipping cider and making applesauce.

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