My Scavenger Hunt Sunday post starts with the letter C! Chopping Corn for Cattle!
At frist glance this field of corn looks monochromatic. Look a little closer and you can find indications that the corn is ready to chop. Most of the corn ears are in the dent stage and the leaves are starting to turn brown. This level of corn maturation means that the corn has potential for a high feed value and there is little nutritional loss in the leaves and stocks.
The once soft hair like corn silks turn brown as the corn matures. The corn changes from soft kernels, in the early stages of development, to hard kernels as starch content increases.
This is the first time Jim or his Dad has planted corn. We don’t have all the equipment needed to chop corn, so J made a deal with the neighbors. They came over to chop early last week. One evening and two big days later the crop was harvested.
As the chopper runs along the corn row it cuts the plants and blows the feedstuffs into the high-dump. Once the high-dump is full it gets dumped on a truck. The trucker takes the feed to the silage pile to be packed. The plants get turned upside down several times in the process.
Silage is stored in a pile on the ground or in a bunker. It is necessary to pack the feed to preserve its nutritional value until feeding the silage to livestock.
Another fall job in the books! It was fun to watch J take on this experiment. It’s amazing how one little seed can go through its life cycle and produce so much high quality feed.