Saturday, July 7, 2007

Harvesting Corn (with a hay mower)

This past week, we harvested about 22 acres of short corn by cutting it with a hay mower, raking it, baling it, and wrapping it. On those 22 acres, we got a whopping 30 bales of corn baleage. As poor as that sounds, that would extend our ability to feed baleage to our milking herd by 15 days, which is much better than the alternative of having to buy more feed to replace it with.

Of our remaining corn, we have about 25 acres that we'll make baleage out of, and about 45 that we'll try to run the silage chopper through in a few weeks (the better spots of the 45, anyway).

4 comments:

Roberta said...

I really recommend using illegal immigrants instead of a hay mower. They work faster and take more of a beating.


Roberta Shugs

John M said...

We are going to try and make some on Monday. Did the baleage do ok? We are looking at using a NH 489 Haybine and running a neighbor's NH BR740A silage special, with the crop cutter and netwrap, behind it. Any suggestions email ferrumcountry@yahoo.com

WDG said...

Despite the dirt we picked up with the corn (primarily from having to rake it into a row), it made good, solid bales. We actually used the same model hay baler, but didn't use the crop cutter and wrapped it with twine instead of netwrap. We stretch-wrapped the bales individually right after we baled them.

We had been feeding two bales of oat/ryegrass baleage in our TMR each day, but for the last ten days or so have substituted one bale for corn baleage. It appears to be roughly equal on a dry matter weight basis, but our cows actually seem to have picked their production up just a little bit. It looks and smells pretty good, and while we hope we don't get in a situation like this again, we won't hesitate to harvest small, stunted corn as baleage.

John M said...

We finished up our drought stressed corn and surprisingly enough, it turned out OK. Just plan ahead and order the haybine teeth you will break...also don't drive the haybine too fast. The no-till planted corn was much easier on the baler, rake, and haybine than was the tilled ground. The netwrap seemed to help the wrapper, but we did use a tubeline wrapper. If anyone chooses not to rake, bale in the opposite direction of the cutter. Make sure to use a big enough loader tractor due to the bale weight, avg. 1600lb on a 4x4 bale. The corn had some plant mass, but not ear enough for the combine or picker, we got 9-10 rolls per acre (4x4 bales). Dirt was a slight problem, but still not that much of a problem.