Thursday, August 2, 2012

Corn Bales

In case you haven't heard, we are in a drought.

A bad one.

And it's taking a toll on our pastures and hay fields.  Which in turn takes a major toll on our winter hay supply.  The cows have been eatting up our hay like candy.

The farmer who owns all the ground around my parent's small homestead has been cutting down his seed corn.  The lack of rain and 100 degree tempertures smothered any chance of pollination.  It's a total loss, and thus the complete waste of hundreds of acres of planted corn.

But wait... not a complete waste.

We are hard up for hay.  And we are only going to get harder up.  If that's even a phrase.

So we are doing something we have never had to do before.  We are bailing corn.

I was very sceptical before this whole process began.  Corn stalks are so different than hay.  I didn't think our conditioner or bailer would make the bales.  It was too easy.  Something had to go wrong.

But my dad had faith in the corn and we now are 12 corn bales richer.

The major problem really occurs after bailing.  Corn needs nitrogen to grow and stores it in it's stalks.  If cows injest too much nitrogen they... well they die.  And this is something we obviously want to avoid at all costs.

So the bales will need to be tested for their nitrogen content before being fed to any of our cows.  We are hoping the tests come back fine.

If so we are going to have this...

times 80!

Yes, we are going to try to get 80 more round bales of corn.

The bales will have very little nutritional value, but they will be a filler.  Something we can feed now before it gets too cold.  And save our good supply of hay for the bitter cold months when the nutrition will matter.  Full cows are happy cows and we want our cows to be the happiest.

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