After the Hardisty field day which was another wonderful and good day we came home and plowed full swing into silaging! We silaged for four days and covered the pit on Wednesday morning. It makes for a busy few days from about eight in the morning to ten or eleven at night and is a very important time as silage is what we feed in the winter months to our cattle and are their main food.
This year we had a very large silage pit, we silaged more crop than we usually do because we got a bunch of winter kill on the alfalfa so it didn't come in very well so instead of haying it we silaged it. Silaging is also a process that takes a few people to successfully complete it. Every year we get together with our neighbors and we help them silage their crop and they help us silage ours. Most of the time you need:
1 person swathing a bit ahead of the chopper
1 person running the chopper
1 person on a tractor packing down the pit and moving the silage up
3 or 4 people driving trucks depending on the distance of the field.
Now once the silaging is complete we have to cover the pit so that it doesn't get any air or moisture so then it doesn't rot. There are a couple ways to cover pits. Lots of people cover pits with old tires onto the plastic, it is a lot of work to move tires and cover the pit. We used tires back when we would bag the silage and you would just have to do the ends of the silage bag. When we starting putting the silage in a pit however we have covered the pit with big round bales. We find this works wonderful, it gives the pit a good seal and we haven't ever had issues with the silage spoiling. It is also less strenuous on the people, we have a couple people in tractors moving bales and then three our four on the ground holding the plastic down. The ground people don't have to do any heavy lifting or anything and it is much nicer. I have covered silage with both tires and bales and I must say I prefer bales much more than tires.
This is the amount of silage above the pit edge.
So, we successfully got another crop of silage of the ground and by the looks of the pit it should be more than enough to feed our cows during the winter. I also got to smell the sweet aroma of fresh silage for a couple days, a smell that I quite enjoy. Some people don't like the smell as much, but I quite enjoy it now anyway, not so much when it's older.