September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Chopping winter rye
On one 80 acre field the under seeded alfalfa looks great, but the other field still appears spotty and may need some spot reseeding. One small field never was seeded with alfalfa, so we planted soybeans in it on June 17. On June 20 we received 2.5 inches of rain on already saturated soil and I must say that field with the soybeans planted in the rye stubble sustained the least erosion damage of any of our row crops.
Chopping the rye allowed us to try our new side dump semi trailer. We have had one high sided side dump for a few years, and now we added a second one equipped with an electric roll tarp. On the close hauls (one mile or less), two side dumps easily kept up with our 960 Claas chopper taking huge windrows.
When we hauled one field of rye to our heifer grower's place three miles from the field, we used both side dumps and two straight tandem box hoist trucks. I asked Kaia to time the different trucks as they were dumping by starting the stopwatch when the truck started backing up to the pile, and stopping the watch when the truck was empty and leaving the pile. The average time for the hoist trucks was 1.5 minutes, and the average time for the side dumps was 30 seconds.
Since trucks are expensive to run, and good drivers are hard to find, we hope to use one less truck most of the time just because of the fast turn around time of the side dumps. They hold 18-20 ton of corn silage which is the same as our super slow unloading semi-retired belt trailer, but probably less than the big conveyer chain trailers on the market. On hauls of 10 miles or more those chain trailers would probably be better.
Hopefully, all of my readers have abundant feed to chop this year no matter how you do it. I remember 34 years ago in 1979, I built a silo, bought my first chopper, a used 260 MF, and two brand new front unload Roorda wagons. We thought we were really getting it done then. Where will we be 34 years from now?
Dave operates a 1,200-cow, 3,000 acre farm with his son, Joe, and daughter-in-law, Rita, near Worthington, Minn.[[In-content Ad]]