Harvesting the Crops to Feed the Cows
- The first harvest actually starts before Memorial Day when grass harvesting begins. Fresh grass contains the highest protein content when it’s in early bud stage in mid-May, providing our cows optimal nutritional value.
- For winter feeding, however, we produce corn silage or grass silage. The crop is chopped in the early fall when its moisture content and ears are at the optimum maturity. The chopped corn is trucked into a big bunker called a silo, and dumped. Great care is taken to pack the feed tightly using tractors to eliminate the oxygen so the feed doesn’t spoil.
- Once packed, the silo is covered with plastic. We want the grass or corn to ferment—this preserves it through the winter. It’s a long time from October until green grass is available again the next May!
- Each day through the cold months, we load this silage into an X that distributes it into the feed bin where our cows have unlimited access to eat all they want.
- Chopping the corn to just the right length is critical to our cows’ health. If the corn stalks and corn are chopped too long or too short our cows will have difficulty digesting it properly, therefore not getting all the fine nutrition the forage is intended to offer.