During corn harvest, a machine called a chopper drives through the field and chops up the corn, stalks and all. This product is called corn silage:
When you harvest corn, you have two options for storage: in ag bags or in large packs covered by plastic sheets and tires. The Dairy Man and his father used both methods of storage this year. Ag bags are easier to seal to ensure that the corn silage doesn’t get moldy, but packs are more space-efficient. Since we had a LOT of corn to put up this year, we went with both.
The process of bagging corn silage is essentially identical to that of bagging hay. Trucks drive the silage to the bagger and the Dairy Man makes sure the bags get loaded properly.
Packing corn silage, on the other hand, involves making a huge pile of corn and driving over it with a tractor to pack it. Hence: the pack. Once the pack is finished, the farmers cover it with plastic sheets and tires to keep out any trace of oxygen.
One night I had the opportunity to ride on the pack with the Dairy Man. And, oh dear, I was bored after about 30 seconds. Basically the Dairy Man drives up and down, up and down, up and down the pack ALL DAY LONG. Backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards. Talk about seasickness. The reason they undertake this monotonous task is because the pack of corn has to be tightly compacted in order for the corn silage to be preserved over the next year. So they drive on the pack. Up and down. Backward and forwards. All.day.long. My husband is a better man than I.
Though, I must say, the view from the top of the pack wasn’t half bad.
Modern Farm Wife
Corn harvest is finished, but our cows will be chowing on the silage from these bags and packs for the next year. And really, it’s all about the cows.
Modern Farm Wife
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