Chopping season has arrived... well, almost. Today the first choppers of the year moved in, to chop our alfalfa for silage.
The task today was to pick-up the feed that had been laid in windrows by the swather, and sun dried for the past 2 days.
The trucks haul the chopped feed to a concrete storage area on our farm, where The Silage Bagger is waiting.
The bagger is a mechanized contraption that funnels the feed into these tube style storage bags. The feed, typically oats, corn, or as in this case - alfalfa, goes into the bag, where it ferments for a period of time until it is ready to be used as a feedstuff for our herd known as Silage. The most common question we are asked about these white bags is "Is that your manure storage?" Nope, that's our feed storage!
The truck backs up to this conveyor, opens the rear doors and unloads the feed, called green chop, onto the belt.
The bagger operator, standing in the doorway at the top of the stairs, monitors the belt as it feeds the green chop up into the funnel.
As the belt runs over the top of the bagger, the green chop is pressed through the funnel into the silage bag. As the bag fills, the bagger rolls slightly forward to allow for more green chop to fill in.
Our lucky little farmers got to stand at the controls today, and see just how the green chop gets packed!
This fall, when we chop our corn fields, the silage bags will be much larger, and require the use of a pit packer tractor instead of the bagger.