Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preparing To Fill Silos...2016...

It's that time of year again.

Late has started, the weather is s l o w l y turning cooler, and the silos are quickly getting empty.

Behind these closed doors is the silage room...

We store the feed carts in here and lock the doors so that the cows can't get in them and eat themselves sick!  Yes, they would do that!  (It happened one time, and the cow almost died.  After she recovered, she didn't have much of a desire for corn the rest of her lactation!)

Here also is access to the silos, which are almost completely empty, as you can see.  The unloader is resting on the last few inches of silage in the east silo...

This is looking up into the west silo...

This is the old tile silo at the other farm.  Several years ago, Jim put a plastic liner in the silo to make it airtight.  Each year we have to put another plastic liner over the doors.  That's the black strip that is hanging down from the top.  After the silo is full, Jim will cut the plastic off over each door from the top down, so he can open the door and toss the silage down the chute into the cart below...

This afternoon we walked through the corn field that he plans to chop, cutting samples of stalks throughout the field.  We ran them through the chopper and will have the silage moisture tested to see where we're at.  It's too green right now, we know for sure, but once we have the moisture sample back we'll have a better idea of when we might be able to fill the silos.  It can be a nerve wracking process, because we want a moisture level between 66% and 69%, and it also has to suit the custom chopper's schedule!

We bought one load of silage last week to hold us over until we can chop our own corn.  Every year is different, so we'll see how this one goes!


  1. Our corn is starting to dent. Terry says one, maybe two more irrigations and we are done for the season. Silage harvest always starts on Labor Day here.

    Good Luck with your harvest!


  2. Well you learn something new every day. I remember corn silage from my youth at my uncle's dairy farm. I didn't know that you actually test the moisture level first. Do you think they did that 40 years ago, or did farmers just go by touch / sight? -Jenn

  3. funny, i can still smell silage after all of these many years away from it - maybe 40 or so...

  4. Best of luck with the harvest!

  5. Oh, those old tile silos are rare around here but so nice to see. Good luck with the harvest. HUGS B

  6. Wow!! I just love reading about the silos. I also am always mesmerized looking up into them. It is amazing to me to see them empty again waiting to be filled. I don't think we have any silos around here anymore. They just pile the silage in giant mountains and cover it with plastic and old tires to hold down the plastic. I like silos better. :)

  7. We put our silage in a trench silo, but we don't use corn. We use a feed silage. Last year, the custom crew did it in early October. Ironically, Randy was just looking for their phone number as I was reading your blog. He wants to get on their schedule. Good luck with everything!


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