Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grass for our Cows

Last week we harvested the second cutting of Sudan grass. This crop was planted in late May and early June. Our goal is to harvest three cuttings to feed our cows. The first cutting was complete in mid-July. Our second cutting made good yields and beautiful feed for our cows! Here's the story of our Sudan grass. . . .

Duane Hastings helping prepare the fields for planting in May. . . .

Lad and Jack loading the Sudan grass seed into the planter. . . .

Planting the seed. . . .

The Sudan grass popping out of the ground in mid-June. . . .

June was a dry month, so our first cutting of Sudan grass didn't grow as much as we would have liked. The field in the above picture illustrates the dry soil.

Jack in the Sudan field in mid-August about one week before harvesting the 2nd cutting. . . .

The first step in harvesting this crop is mowing. . . .




The second step is merging the rows that have been mowed. . . .


Finally, chopping the Sudan into smaller pieces and blowing it into the trucks to be delivered to our dairy. . . .



When the truck arrives at the dairy, it unloads onto a concrete pad. . . .

Then the pack tractor pushes it into a pile and packs it down. . . .


Jack checks out the chopped Sudan. . . .

In addition to farming, we have lots of animals to take care of each day. The planting and harvesting season take long hours and require extra help at the farm. We're fortunate to have a great team that make the harvest a success! Thank you to Bob Emmons and Dave Marks for the hours they spent hauling the Sudan from the field to the dairy, to Joe Profera who delayed heading back to college to help us and Lane Hastings, who ran the discbine to mow the Sudan. And Taylor Emmons, who is vital to the success of our farm on a daily basis. He worked longer than normal hours during the harvest.

Dave and Bob. . . .

Taylor (in the middle) and the chopping crew take a brief break for dinner. . . .

The finished product, a pile of feed covered with plastic tarp and tires. . . .

This will be one of the ingredients fed to our cows over the next several months.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the pictorial essay! The tires on the mound, they look to be cut in half. Is that to double the number of weights per tire?

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  2. Thanks John. The reason most of the tires are cut in half is so they don't hold rain water.

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  3. Very good forages preservation techniques, in addition to your property is incredibly large, my country, the size and industrialization of farms is really minimal. But it has been changing thanks to several government initiatives which printed the agro a touch of low-cost technology tools and internet training as http://www.agronet.gov.co/BibliotecaDigital.html which is a library that allows you to find additional information for the improvement of crops and cattle feed.

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  4. This is an awesome post! I never knew the secrets behind all of this and the pictures were so descriptive.

    Thank you, I now know a little bit more about what happens in the farming world.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelsey. I'm glad you visited my blog!

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  5. The chopped grass is so sweet that I can eat them too.

    Why don't you let the cows out in the field to server grass for themself?

    After several months, is the grass still fresh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We deliver the feed to the cows in the barn. This grass will be fed from the day it's chopped until it's gone, which is 2-3 months. It would continue to be quality feed much longer.

      Delete

Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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