As of this season, we have chopped corn for 4 years. We have chopped in the rain, the snow, the mud and now the dust - and that's ONLY 4 years! Very hard to believe all of the variety in weather!
In past years, we have always just emptied the forage boxes into a big pile and used a bulldozer for packing it. Although it worked well for moving the silage and shaping a nice pile, it pretty much floated over the silage rather than packing it. Our silage always heated and we had a lot of waste.
This year, however, we decided to rent an Ag Bagger from a friend of ours. He was very helpful and showed us how to set it up with the bags, where the controls were, what the pressure should be set at, etc etc. He even stopped by on a couple of occasions to see how we were coming along. All I have to say is the Ag Bagger ROCKS! I love it and never ever ever want to do a giant pile of silage again.
Okay- so this season... I was really thinking the majority of the chopping would be done Thursday and Friday of last week. We didn't even get into the corn field until 1:30 on Thursday and our poor old chopper broke a joint on the drive shaft. It took us all day Friday to find a replacement part at an implement dealer two and a half hours away. That evening, he replaced the part and took the chopper to our next field to fill a box and one of the chains broke! Ah! Seriously?! To make it through, he replaced the chain with the old worn out one he took off so this exact thing would NOT happen. The next day, a new chain was purchased and installed. No incidents of misfortune were reported on Saturday. Chopping had to be postponed after the 2nd field was chopped for the wedding reception of a family member. On Sunday we finished close to 14 acres of corn and suffered a flat tire on a 16 ft chopper box loaded with silage. Monday we finished our last field, which was the furthest from our farm. On the 2nd to the last box of silage, we blew out a tire on the 14 ft box. Unhooked and left it on the side of the road for last.
I can surely say I have had enough of issues with flat tires and old choppers.
At least our cows will be happy cows; you didn't really believe happy cows ONLY came from CA, did you?