On Tuesday, we were in the middle of making our corn silage pile which we feed to our cows for the entire next year. That day, we received two inches of rain. There is no way a silage semi can drive in fields that were already wet beforehand, for at least 3 days. That left us with a few options:
1. Leave it sit, knowing that all the exposed silage starts to lose a lot of value while in the presence of oxygen.
2. Cover it with a plastic tarp and old tires, wait for fields to dry, uncover it, finish adding more silage to it, and then splice plastic pieces together when covering again. Expensive (lots of man hours) and not fun.
OR A BRAND NEW IDEA…
3. Salt it. Well, maybe it’s not a brand new idea because it makes me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder times and how they use to salt stuff to preserve it. This idea came as a brainstorm when Joe called our nutritionist. I’m not sure if it was Joe’s idea or the nutritionist or some other dairy farmer’s, but my father-in-law thought it to be smart, so a LOT of salt was ordered.
I love how creative people can be at coming up with ideas to spread 4 tons of salt, at a rate of 2 pounds per square foot. My father-in-law used a fertilizer spreader. He even took a picture for me and came up with a title for this post. Lots of creative juices flowing! Typically, corn silage is a yellowish green and very bright. It really does look differently with all the salt.
Our nutritionist is always pulling feed samples throughout the year to send to the lab, so he will just have to adjust the mineral package our cows receive to account for this extra salt. I always feed my family lots of real salt (and pepper!) and encouraging adding as much as they want to what they eat. I know most people think salt is terrible for you, but a lot of the latest research shows how good it is for you to use as much as you crave. I certainly am on board with this, and some of it is probably from watching how much our animals appreciate a good salt block lick.
Anyhow, food is on my mind because well, I’m pregnant. And also, because the big item on my to-do list this time of year is to provide food for our crews making corn silage. I use a lot of salt in everything to encourage them to stay hydrated, and they even get some pepper to go with it.