It’s that time of the year again: silage season. We just got through cutting all of the corn silage, and now we are getting equipment ready to harvest sorghum. We prepare all year round just for these few weeks of cutting, plus the week or so of cutting ryegrass in March. We all come together as a team to tackle the long hours ahead and get the job done.
I remember silage time as a child. I used to love riding around with my grandmother, going from field to field delivering drinks and food to everyone. On Fridays and Saturdays, we would pick up BBQ sandwiches for everyone, and I can remember all of us sitting on tailgates in the field eating lunch. Then papa would let me climb up in the cab of the tractor with him, and I’d lean back on my pillow and watch the corn being chopped down and slung back into the wagon. Those are memories I will always cherish.
Now that I have gotten into the business, I keep close around the barn and the robots to make sure everything is being tended to around here while all the others are doing their part with silage. At the end of the day, I’ll make my way up to the silage pits to trade out with someone so they might have an evening off.
Our normal silage varieties including corn, ryegrass, and sorghum. We have done different varieties of sorghum in the past including, sorghum-sudangrass and dwarf sorghum. Our silage harvest usually begins in March and then again in late July or early August.
Silage days are long and tough, and in the summer, they are hot. But, we come together as a team and family and get the job done. A lot of memories have been made during these times that I will cherish forever, and there are many more memories to come.
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.