We are in full swing corn silage harvesting mode here at Hillcrest Farms. Last week temperatures rose to 100°F and higher and the humidity was right there with it. We didn’t have a lot of rain in the beginning of the season but have had adequate rainfall toward the end.
We took dry matter samples before we started cutting, figuring they would be a little wet and we would start harvesting in a week or so. Nope! The samples were right on target so we began the next day.
We have been cutting for a week now, and we have about a week to go until we are finished. This week has been unbelievably nice weather, around 65°F when we arrive in the mornings and upper 80s throughout the day!
We have three two-row choppers going as much as possible, but with breakdowns we have averaged two running choppers for the most part. The choppers blow the silage into dump wagons. Once the wagon becomes full, a dump truck pulls up beside it and the wagon is dumped into the truck. The dump truck will travel to our silage pits and dump the silage into the pit.
Our silage pits are about 12 feet deep with a concrete floor. We have a 4955 John Deere with a Grouser Ag220 Blade pushing and packing the silage down at the same time. As the pit becomes full and packed down, we cover it section by section. We lay a vapor barrier, then black and white plastic, a bird barrier, and then half tires on top. We make sure that there is absolutely no spacing between each tire so that the pit is entirely covered.
When it comes to corn silage season here on the farm, we have long days, heat indexes above 100°F, and a lot of tires to throw. But we get the job done and do it to the best of our ability. This feed is a large part of what fuels our cows to make a great wholesome product!
Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. Their “Father and Daughter Dairy Together” column appears every other Thursday on HD Notebook. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.