Our Silage/Grain Corn Variety on July 26th, 2010...looking great! (I'm about 5'7" for a reference for height).
Our Silage Variety plot, noticeably taller than me! Some as high as 10 feet!
On July 26th, 2010 Our corn was looking pretty darn nice! This is plant producing 2 ears of corn! It's going to make delicious feed for our hungry cows!
Seems like we were just talking about the beginning of summer, starting hay season and the 4th of July, but it looks as though we have blasted through the county fair, the MN State Fair is only days away, we finished our 4th cutting of alfalfa last week and we are looking at starting corn silage in a matter of days as well! Where did summer go!?!?!? Above are some pictures that I took of our stellar looking corn crop. As you may recall, Jon and I are growing our first field of corn, to be chopped as silage for our cows. This 25 acre field will feed our cows for about 3-4 months, so it's not really enough for the year, but it helps to be able to raise our own feed instead of purchasing ALL of it. In order to make enough corn silage for our cows this year we will need to chop about 120 acres to feed each of our cows, heifers and calves for the coming year. We will fill about 9 silage bags (250 feet long and 10 foot diameter) as well as 2 upright silos, for about 3000 tons of corn silage.
We planted 2 different types (varieties) of corn this year. We planted our "usual" variety which is a conventional (no genetically modified traits) which can be used as a grain corn (tends to be harder and higher in starch) or as a silage corn (plant material, leaves and stalks are more digestible for cows to eat). We also planted a "test" plot where we are trying out some silage specific varieties that are even more digestible for cows. These 4 varieties (you might notice the difference in heights in my picture, since they are drastically different) are also GMO (genetically modified organisms) varieties. We are not sure what to think of these crops yet, as we will need to feed them to the cows and let the cows tell us what they think (it's their opinion that really matters!). Right now we know that the silage specific varieties are VERY tall and are making some nice ears of corn, however the conventional variety is producing some even NICER ears of corn, some plants with as many as 3 ears/plant!!! In the end though, we really focus on making excellent feed, that provides energy and fiber for our lovely ladies! It's what our cows tells us about our feed that really matters....if they don't like it, it does us no good, therefore a HUGE focus on quality is key. Stay tuned for more info from the fields and if you are interested, check out our Facebook Page for more pictures of corn and alfalfa! and some cows too!