Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Refill 2012...

It's been busy this week...

On Monday, we refilled the two silos here at home.   Jim had been trying to decide when the corn was at the right moisture level for chopping.  It's very difficult to know just when that is...he looks at the milk line on the kernels...he twists the stalk above the ear to see how much moisture is in the stalk...and sometimes takes a whole plant moisture sample by running it through the chopper and testing it.  Even so, it's not easy.

This is the field we chopped...

First, we put the silo unloaders up to the top of the silos.  We used this drill to wind it takes much less time and muscle than doing it by hand!  That's the cable holding the unloader up, in the top right of this picture...

I hitched a ride in the chopper again.  I walked out while the first truck was unloading at the silo.  You can easily see the first round that the chopper has made...

For the first round in the field, the silage truck drives directly behind the chopper.  After that, he drives along side until he's full.  Then he goes to unload and another truck takes his place...

The view out the front of the chopper...

Looking down at the corn being pulled into the chopper.  You wouldn't want to be anywhere near those blades.  This chopper has a Kemper head on's different than a conventional head, which has the snouts that go between the rows.  With this type of head, he can go any direction that he wants or needs to...

This load of silage, with preservative spread on top, is being uloaded into the silo...

Meanwhile, back at the barn, Jim is talking to Jeff (the guy running the chopper) about how many more loads he needs to fill the silos...

He is also deciding whether or not to refill the silo at the other farm at the same time, or to wait.

The silage we chopped ended up still being a little wetter than he wanted, so Jeff's planning to come back in a few days to finish up. He'll be back in the area anyway, and will catch us at the same time.

Getting ready to head out.  The sides of the chopper fold up for running on the road...

Never a dull moment around here.

Now for the rest of the week, it's off to the Lampeter Fair.  The baked goods were judged this morning, so there's a load off my plate.  Jenna shows her goats tomorrow, and the livestock sale is on Friday, so the fun is far from over.

Check back later for adventures at the fair!


  1. Wonderful photos ! It's quite the art form now a days isn't it ? ! Looking forward to the fair post and photos , good luck to Jenna on showing her goats . I bet there is soo much YUMMY home made foods there as well ! Have a good day !

  2. Oh Alica I love coming here and seeing things and learning things I know nothing about. I am a farmer but not all farmers know the same things.
    Oh the fair I can't wait Jenna is going to be great. I have to run just thinking of all that food has made me very hungry. B

  3. I love the photos of your corn field Alica. Thanks for the corn chopping tour. We used to chop corn for the silos but no longer plant corn as there were way too many black birds and starlings and raccoon damage. It got to be a bit of a headache. The seed cost was getting very high here in Canada.

    You are always so very busy .Good luck with the ribbons at the fair.


    1. So, Julia...does this mean that you have to buy all your corn?! We have had damage from crows/black birds when we did siage ag bags, and sometimes even from squirrels! We haven't done a bag though, for several years.

  4. Ah the memories. Watching dad agonize over when to cut. Feeding silage crews. Watching the trucks come in and the silage pile grow. Then my favorite part, riding in the silage wagon on a cold winter day, buried (Much to my mother's dismay) in hot silage. Thanks for bringin up the memories.

  5. That is one wicked looking farm machine!! Yikes!!
    I hope Jenna does well with her goats! :)

  6. Nice pics! My boy loved to look at them. He loves tractors and farming in general.
    I don't think I'd want to get in the way of any of that equipment!

  7. It certainly has to feel good getting that job finished up. Hope everything goes well at the fair!

  8. Interesting education on how food for food gets to our table. Glad your corn crop is green and tall. Here's best wishes for getting it all in the silo without glitches. Good luck to you and yours at the fair.


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