Friday, October 21, 2011

Bagging Silage

 This long white bag that looks sort of like a mutant worm leaving some excrement behind is really not that. Course, you probably already figured that out, being the intelligent blog reader that has chosen to come to this site.

What this bag signifies is that it's harvest time! These are silage bags, and they cost a lot, like several hundred bucks each. Who knew a little plastic could cost so much?

 This machine is called the bagger, and it's being used to put silage (ground up corn) into the bag. The idea is that the bag will create a moist environment, allowing the silage to ferment a bit and increase the protein content. And if the cows get a little tipsy, with fermented food, cheers to them.

 The silage truck backs up to the bagger.

 Then it opens its gate and tips the bed.

 This is what the silage looks like coming out of it. Hard to believe its good food!

 Jose operates the bagger.
 Malcolm puts on a big grin in the silage truck.

 It only takes a few minutes for the silage truck to dump its load in the bagger, then it heads back out to the field to get more.
 The bags are labeled and dated.

It was such a nice afternoon that we decided to head out into the fields to try and find the chopper.
 We found a few errant corn stalks that had evaded the maw of the chopper.

 Seeing the brown corn really made it seem like fall. The snow-covered mountain might have helped with that appearance, too.

 I liked how the road threaded its way through the corn field. We had to take it, of course. The chopper wasn't on the other side.

 We saw that the chopper had been there, though. So we looked for the dust of the silage trucks and continued on.

 Then, off in the distance, we saw the chopper at work, with a backup silage truck ready to take the first one's place as soon as it was full.

Aw, the joys of fall. My husband will breathe a huge sigh of relief once all the corn is chopped. The corn silage is all done now, with quite a bit of corn earlage left. Earlage is when the chopper just pulls the ears off and chops them up. Its higher energy for the cows and is harvested later than the silage.

And now you probably know more than you wanted to about bagging silage. But if you still want to know more, here's a post I wrote about it back in 2008!


jendoop said...

I've seen those bags on a smaller scale, for large farms and gardens. They must bag soil/compost because they cut a small hole in the top for the plant to grow. It seems like a great way to cut down on weeds. I didn't know about fermenting silage. You must have happy cows.

The Incredible Woody said...

I never knew! So the bags are used to replace silos?

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