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Thread: Hey Travis, your not the only one

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Springfield OH
    Posts
    806

    Hey Travis, your not the only one

    To get the last acre off! Of course I only had 2 ares of corn on in the first place.

    Took the first one off Sunday evening, second one off Monday morning.
    Made 180/BU to the acre in ear corn. Not bad for good old open pollinated stuff
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Misc 212.jpg   Misc 224.jpg   Misc 218.jpg  

  2. #2
    Here we typically take the whole stalk and chop it up and feed it to the cows, not just the ear, so we get a higher tonnage per acre...19 tons roughly. I am not trying to say our corn is better then your corn, just saying we figure it different as in tons per the acre and not bushels (ears only) per the acre. Our corn is also different then yours in that it is genetically engineered to be "round up ready" and typically gives 2 ears per stalk. This is important as it gives you a higher grain per ton basis then non GE Corn. For us, that means we can give less grain to our cows (and my sheep incidentally). Personally I don't have an issue with GE corn, but I understand that a lot of people do.

    Now years ago we used to take "just the ear" and it was called high moisture corn. For some reason they no longer do that??? This year I ran around the fields and picked up a few buckets of cobs. It was a pain to husk them, but the sheep loved eating the empty husks, then I chipped the cobs up into tiny bits and bagged it up. Its cheap grain really. Of course for all that work I saved 30 bucks. (ten bucks for a $50 bag...not really worth it, but what they hay).

    I would still like to have one of those harvesters though Robert. I got hay for this year, but Alfred said he stopped haying 2 years ago and will no longer hay. Its got to be haylage or silage for my sheep, so I am thinking very strongly of building a silo. Its older equipment like what you have that just might save the day for me. I could use 2 acres of corn to fill a 10X32 foot silo (37 tons) or 10 acres of hay fields, and there is something about dropping a plow, tilling and planting corn and watching it grow. At least for this conventional farmer. If I could get away with a horizontal bunker I would, but I think the waste would be higher then what I would want, and a silo would not be much more expensive then building a hay barn (assuming I could even get hay).

    Here is a picture clearly showing what I mean by taking all of the stalk. You can see that ahead of the machine is rows of corn, and what's left (in the foreground) is just foot high stubble. For those that are inclined to ask, this chopper takes 6 rows of corn per pass.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Now Robert, do you typically wait this long to chop corn or were you just late in doing so this year? In looking at your pictures it looks as if the corn has been frost killed for quite some time.

    The reason I ask is, on one farm the cow nutritionist likes to chop the corn "in the green" or before the frost kills it, while on the other farm, the cow nutritionist likes to cut it after a few killing frosts. The green guy says green corn gives more milk, while the frost killed guys says it allows the corn cob to really finish growing and reduces the overall grain bill.

    Corn weevils hit the crop this year, and with high fertilizer prices (urea) at 900 bucks a ton they used the fertilizer very sparingly (just enough to"pop" the cobs out of the stalk in July.) It was not a bumper crop for sure, but good enough I guess. The sheep love it and the cows won't go hungry. Just curious as to when you typically harvest your corn.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Buse Township MN
    Posts
    565
    Corn harvest is just getting started around here.

    http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/ne...-fields/?local

    Just the corn is harvested, the cob and stalk is ground up and spit out the back of the combine! Too bad they dont use that to make ethonal, it is possible.
    Every child deserves a family. Adopt. Foster. Get involved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Springfield OH
    Posts
    806
    We are doing different things though Travis.

    I'm not feeding all of this corn. Well not to animals anyway. About a third of it is sold to a local mill to be ground into corn meal and corn flower.

    The rest goes to my brother for chicken and hog feed. They don't do so well on silage, oh though the hogs would probably eat it.

    As for harvest time ear corn is always picked after a couple good frosts. It's easier to store the ear corn and shell it as needed. Plus it will dry stored in a corn crib. If you shell it and put it in a bin you have to spend money on energy to dry it down.

    As for your GE corn, it's not as good. Don't take that personal. But its a fact. GE corns have been modified to be be harder to resist breakage during shelling and to be resistant to roundup The trade off was a loss of protein.
    GE corns are any where from 15 to 30% lower in proteins than open pollinated corn.

    Ohio State tested open pollinated in two test plots a couple years ago, The state average was 175 BU/Acre. OSU's two test plots did 164 BU/Acre So it makes less corn, but you feed less of it. Plus your not paying huge seed corn prices. What hurt me this year is the grounds poor to begin with There where a bunch of pine trees growing there that I cleared. It will take 3 or 4 years to get yields up where they belong.

    A cow nutritionist ? You dairy guys are funny.
    I can't get my head wrapped around feeding grain to dairy cows.

    What you need is a pull type chopper. Like a new Holland 717. I have one with a hay head that I use for making mulch for the garden. I paid $500 for mine this summer. Guy I got it from had a single row corn head for it also. With both heads you could chop both hay and corn for the sheep. Supplement that with a few minerals and you probably wouldn't need anything else for the woolly little buggers

    As for when we harvest corn, all depends, silage around here has been done, High moisture corn is off. Dry shelled corn is coming off now.

    I have been adding to the toy list this summer, So far, 1750 Oliver, JD 7000 6 row corn planter. Older IH 13 hole grain drill, The 717 Chopper, Grove self unloading wagon.
    Set 0f 4-16 Oliver plows and a 7 foot New Holland hay bine.

    I'll get you some pics of the chopper tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,262

    Hey Farmers

    HI all you farmers. I have long wanted to know more about the farm and reading your posts is very interesting but could one of you post a little farm basics 101. I mean I know what a cow is and I know what corn is but I always thought cows were fed grass or hay.

    How about giving us "city slickers" a little background to farming. I find it very interesting to understand what farmers go through. Did not realize or think about all of this nutrition stuff.

    Travis I gather that the corn you grow is for animal feed. When it is still green I take it that you can pick it and eat it yourself as in boiled corn ears and butter. Or is there something about it that makes it unfit for human consumption.

    Then Robert you mention corn that is open pollinated. Help me out here. I see a corn stalk growing, it has ears of "fruit" or corn. I have noticed that they grow very high here and then at the top there is I dont know call it flower that sprouts out at the top of the stalk.
    Where does pollination come into it and who does this? Wind? Bees? bugs? How does this affect the ear of corn.
    I am confused.
    By the way how does seed corn differ over corn that is fed to humans or cows.

    Hey I know this is not a farmers forum but it is in the off topic area and is very interesting in fact fascinating. Man I know you guys have a tough time but there are times I envy you being so in touch with the foodchain.

    I look at everything nowadays wondering if it is contaminated or going to kill me. Worst of all I nearly flipped out the other day. My wife brings home asparagus that is frozen. Yup Frozen. It is marketed under the name European Tastes or something like that giving you the impression it is a European product. Now I dont know why we are buying this stuff when the fresh thing is available. Anyhow, I pick up the packet to see which country it has come from and yup sure enough it has been grown in China. Well with all their pollution and Asparagus being a water type plant I refused to eat the stuff and kicked up a huge fuss over buying the misleading imported in my neurotic mind totally questionable product.

    So now you guys have me going with the last wholesome thing that I really enjoy and that is corn.
    cheers

  7. #7
    Robert...you are probably right about the lower protein, but we don't feed corn to give the cows/sheep protein...we got alfalfa for that (in the way of haylage) so the corn is more for energy which is fancy term for high sugar content. That's why we mix feeds. Haylage for the protein, corn for the energy, grain for the trace minerals and of course probiotics (yogurt). You do give your beef cows yogurt right?

    As for the nutritionist, if you think that is funny, you got to realize that I have a Sheep Nutritional Specialist just for my sheep. Yep, no joke. He specializes in sheep nutrition and is based out of Wisconsin...a great guy too. I decided a long time ago I was going to base my operation on good nutrition as everything in livestock (disease, health, longevity, birth defects and even predation) all stems from nutrition. Of course if you want to continue to laugh, you got to realize that the cows now have "pillows" under them because a cow that is more comfortable gives more milk.

    It is silly in a way, but yet in other ways its not. We only make $1.55 per gallon on milk, yet the average cow gives 10-13 gallons per day and may live for 20 years or more and you realize this cows creature comforts and nutritional needs really adds up to the bottom line.

    As for the chopper, I tried looking for a smaller chopper last Spring, but no one makes one small enough for my tractor. Since a sheep is 1/8th the size of a cow (it takes 8 sheep to eat what one cow eats) everything is on a diminutive scale for me. If I could find a 4 foot or 5 foot chopper, I would be happy. Don't get me wrong, I can get the big toys from the farm, but these guys have 1000 cows to feed and I don't really want to bother them with my silly needs. The more I can do myself, the better off I really, and I like doing it.

    I got a couple of options I figure. I can either build my own equipment and implements, or I can try to find old stuff back when there was a ton of 30 cow farms and stuff and small equipment and tractors.
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 10-31-2008 at 10:28 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
    Rob, the History Channel once did a Modern Marvels show on corn and even though it was an hour long and talked about a simple corn stalk, it did not touch the surface of this amazing plant. It truly drives the economy and world nutritionally and via livestock feed.

    As for eating cow corn, which makes up 90% of the corn planted today, that would be a big no. At least as individual kernels. I think it is ground up and turned into corn syrup which we do drink in soft drinks and eat in other foods.

    Myself I would never directly eat GE Corn and the seed is dyed a bright purple to ensure that it never gets planted for human consumption. Now some make the point that get corn is eaten by cows, and cows produce milk, which we do eat, but cows also eat dandelions. Dandelions and GE corn have the same gene that kills grass around its roots. That is why dandelions are prolific on your lawn, it kills the other grass around it for a short time until it can establish itself. GE corn has the same thing, and its natural,just not natural to have the gene within the corn stalk.

    So why even use it?

    Well years ago we used to have to till the soil, plant the corn, cultivate the corn in mid July to kill weeds and then harvest. Cultivating the corn for weeds did two things. It burned more diesel fuel, took labor hours, but mostly it caused the ground to dry out from breaking up the soil. This caused soil erosion. For a few years we sprayed the corn to kill the weeds, but the dosage was low to keep from killing the slightly more robust corn stalk. Now with round up ready GE Corn we can spray with a full dose, or better yet, have the herbicide in the seed so that we do not need to cultivate or spray. Till, plant, harvest which is very efficient. I put GE Corn as one of the best farming improvements we have made in the past 20 years. A lot of people disagree with me though. (and that's okay)

    By the way, if you are overly concerned about GE Corn and milk, you should know that every gallon of milk consumed in the US is tested and the GE gene has never turned up within it. Back in the 50's-70's, corn seed was dipped in Stricknine...yes Stricknine which kept the crows from eating the seed. Well they ate a few seeds then died because of the poison called Crow Bait within the seed. I just laugh when people think of the "good old days", because in some ways it was not so good. Since 1992 when I worked on the Farm full time, the allowable bacteria count has been reduced by 1/3 and even a blip on the bacteria count will generate a milk inspector to the farm. This too has improved because no longer is it a "we are going to fine you for this..." attitude, but a "we got to figure out how to get the bacteria count down and figure out what's causing it" attitude.

    I can't speak for all the food out there, but milk is pretty darn safe. Ever since the new milk laws went into effect, you can rest assured that the milk you are drinking is local too, or at least produced within your home state.
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 10-31-2008 at 12:29 PM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Stratton View Post
    Just the corn is harvested, the cob and stalk is ground up and spit out the back of the combine! Too bad they dont use that to make ethonal, it is possible.
    Yes it is. The problem with corn is, it gives the least ethanol per acre (200 gallons) and even less without the cob attached to it. Sorghum grass is pretty high at 600 gallons of ethanol to the acre, but once again its a crop that is competing with land destined to grow food.

    The real winner is Cat Tails. It gives an astonishing 1000 gallons of ethanol per acre and grows in swamps not used for food. There is enough cat tails in MN alone to provide the mid-west with ethanol for the next 10 years. Nationwide cat tails could potentially provide 25% of the ethanol for America.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,891
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    Yes it is. The problem with corn is, it gives the least ethanol per acre (200 gallons) and even less without the cob attached to it. Sorghum grass is pretty high at 600 gallons of ethanol to the acre, but once again its a crop that is competing with land destined to grow food.

    The real winner is Cat Tails. It gives an astonishing 1000 gallons of ethanol per acre and grows in swamps not used for food. There is enough cat tails in MN alone to provide the mid-west with ethanol for the next 10 years. Nationwide cat tails could potentially provide 25% of the ethanol for America.
    Now, if you can just get past all the "Wetlands" restrictions.
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