Harvest season started for us this week with the silage harvest. I love harvesting silage, it smells great, and gets me in the mood for fall. We filled a 120-foot silage bag with corn silage on Wednesday, feels good to have that job done, feed for the cows for this winter.
Corn silage is the entire corn stalk chopped up and ensiled to preserve it for later use. We use the bags that look like giant caterpillars in the field, and blow the silage into the bag. The true definition of ensile from the dictionary is: The anaerobic fermentation process used to preserve immature green corn, legumes, grasses, and grain plants; the crop is chopped and packed while at about 70-80 percent moisture and put into silos or other containers to exclude air.
It makes a very tasty feed for the cows in the winter and is packed full of good nutrition for them. So, if you are out and about over the next couple of weeks, you might notice farmers out chopping corn off and blowing it into a wagon. That my friends, is chopping silage, and for cattle producers it signals the beginning of fall.
By Karen Richman, office assistant with the Grundy County Farm Bureau