Doing labor on Labor Day
By: Rebecca Christman
It’s Labor Day, but most farmers I know probably aren’t taking the day off. Back home, it’s the perfect time for chopping silage.
There’s nothing on the farm that I think smells as good as fresh cut silage. The smell is sweet and strong, and smells almost like fresh cut grass – but even better! At our farm we use corn silage as a main part of our ration to feed the cows over winter, so it’s important that we cut and store it at the right time.
This silage will be used in our cattle rations throughout the winter. Our cows are on grass as long as possible in the summer. Once the grass is gone or covered with snow, it’s time to start feeding the cows ourselves. Having the ability to raise some of our own feed is important. It allows us to be less subject to the ups and downs of feed prices, hopefully save some money.
Corn silage is made by chopping up the entire corn plant. The stalk, leaves, and ears all go into a chopper and come out in pieces about the size of quarter. The silage is then put into a pile and squished with a tractor to get the air out. Once all of the silage is packed down, a plastic tarp is put on the top to keep it fresh.
Many farmers in this area will be using this Labor Day to chop silage. Although I’m fortunate to have the day off of work, farmers are still working hard to take care of their crops and animals. To those working and taking the day off, have a happy labor day!
Listen to this week's Farmer's Daughter radio segment here! FARMERS_DAUGHTER-SEPT_7th.mp3