Thursday, August 16, 2012

Short Season Corn Silage...

I know I've said this before, but it really does seem like yesterday that we filled silo, and here we are again.  We don't usually fill until the last week of August...right around the first day of school...but Jim planted some short season corn so that we wouldn't run out and have to buy silage this summer.

Last week we spent some time getting the silo at the other farm ready for filing...

The old tile silo isn't very airtight any more, so a few years ago Jim put a plastic liner in the silo.  It's fastened at the top, and falls all the way to the bottom.   The only part that gets cut away is in front of the doors, so that they can be opened (one at a time, from the top) to fork out the silage.  There's no unloader in this silo, so it's forked out by hand every day.  This is inside the silo, looking up.  That long vertical strip of brown is where the plastic has been cut away from the doors over the last year.  Jim has all the doors shut here, ready to put a door liner in place...

He climbed to the top of the silo with the new door liner, and I stood inside to tell him when he had it lined up straight.  I felt a little claustrophobic inside there...this was my only way out, through that last open door...

He fastened it at the top and let it unroll, covering the doors...

Now it's ready for filling.  When air gets into the silage, it spoils, so an airtight silo is essential for good feed for our cows.

Last Saturday morning, the guys came to chop.  Here he is unloading from the wagon into the blower at the bottom of the silo...

Jim spreads innocculant on top of each load before it goes in the silo...

Keep your hands back!!  I wish my camera had a setting that would show you the blur of that auger!

Even though they were finished putting silage into this silo, they left the blower hooked up.  Jim ran the tractor and blower the first few times he went up into the silo, to get fresh air to breath in case any silo gas had formed.

If the short season corn here at home tests dry enough, they'll likely fill the silos here at home over the weekend.


  1. Wow that is fascinating I am so glad you posted this we do not have a silo and I always wondered what it looked like inside.
    Alica you always teach me so much.
    It has been raining here every other day for a week it is starting to look like spring here. Maybe we will get a second crop of hay and the pasture is turning green. Yeah.

  2. I wish I could just come and watch this. I have always wondered how the Silos got filled. I have seen the dairy farmers around here cutting the Silage but out here they just pile it up in giant mountains and cover it with black plastic and lots of tires and ropes while it cooks underneath it.
    I would love watching it all. I think I would get a little jumpy being in there too. Thank you so much for sharing, I really enjoy seeing how you do all of these things.

  3. The silos around here hold grain so it was interesting to see how yours is filled with silage. When I was a kid my dad dug a huge trench and filled it with corn silage every fall. The stuff really "ripened" into something rank but the cows loved their steaming hot corn breakfast in the winter.

    1. The stuff sure does smell bad when it ferments, but that's when the cows like it best! I'm glad I don't have to eat it!

  4. Love these posts! :) Jeez, I feel a little claustrophobic just looking at the pictures!

  5. This is a great post. I love the look of that silo, but I don't think I'd want to be in there either.

  6. Like so many of your other posts, this was so informative! My uncle made silage, and explained it to me when I was a little girl, but I was never there when he actually did it. It's nice to see old silos still being put to good use (and to know your cows will have feed!)

  7. Nice to see that you have your corn silage in the silo. We have abandoned doing corn silage because of all the damage the raccoons does to the corn fields and the black birds do a lot of damage to.
    Our two cement silos have passed there usefulness and now we do round bale hay silage. They will be torn down sometime in the future. JB

  8. Thanks for the inside view of the silo. We have a few of those around there that look like that made of chicken tile. I didn't know you could line them with plastic either. Thanks for the play by play!


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