Posted 9/13/2021 19:36 (#9218661) Subject: Results of baling standing corn
Kingdom of Callaway - Fulton, Mo 65251
I asked on here a few days ago about how to deal with the need to remove some standing corn for a neighbor that needed some temporary parking.
Good or bad, I ended up swathing it, and round baling it. Our trusty old Opal the Field Queen chopper ingested a row chain last week, and is in the shop, so it was going to be too involved to get another chopper ready, and also to then have to haul the silage 18 miles to our pit. Not enough sugar for a cent type deal.
It actually worked rather well. We mowed it Saturday morning, and decided to let it wilt a bit. We baled it this morning (Monday) after we had 90 degree weather Saturday and Sunday, and a drying wind.
It dried enough that the baler was showing it at 30 to 40% moisture, which I wouldn't trust with the wet ears and size of the stalks. We made smaller bales, 4x4's that averaged 1450 pounds each. We put 3.5 wraps of net on them. We elected to not tube wrap it, we just hauled it straight to the farm we have cattle on. I fed 3 bales in a TMR to some cows, and 2 bales to some bred heifers this afternoon. I replaced the silage they had been eating in the mixtures with the baled corn, so it wasn't much of a change. If I keep feeding it at that rate, or more, I'll use it up before it gets bad I think.
I was glad we used a baler with knives, it did a really good job tearing up the stalks. It fed out really well.
I got the hula hoop out to check ear loss. Based on the Swather cutting 6 rows per pass, and stand count of the corn, we lost from 1/4 to 1/3 of the corn kernals by weight. There was zero loss on the outer rows, it was all under the windrow, mainly from loose partial ears the baler pickup couldn't pick up off the ground.
If I did it again, I would use a 3pt disc mower with no conditioner rolls, and rake it as soon as I cut it. The ear loss was almost totally caused by the conditioner rolls popping the ears off the stalks, or crushing them into pieces.
All in all, it worked well for free corn. Of course chopping it would be better if there was more of it, but for the small amount, the bales sure were nice to get it hauled away easily.