We are nearing the end of summer right now and many farmers have kicked it into high gear. It's corn silage season here in Indiana (more about that process here) and it will start soon back in Washington. Corn and soybeans are drying down quick, so combines will be back at it soon to harvest those crops. Crops turn brown as moisture decreases. It can look like the crops are dying, but that's just the process of the crop naturally drying down. Corn silage is harvested at a much higher moisture level, so the plant is generally still green. Other corn is brown when it is shelled by the combine.
View from the tractor while chopping corn silage
This truck is where the silage from the wagon pulled behind the tractor is dumped into to be transported to the silage bunker
This is what corn silage looks like after it's chopped. Corn silage is the entire plant, as opposed to shelling corn that only harvests the kernels.
Dumping the silage into the other silage wagon/silage truck.
Silage is generally stored in upright silos, white ag bags that sit on the ground or a bunker silo (pictured above). It's important to pack it to limit oxygen, which can cause it to rot or mold.
Did you know that most corn and soybeans are used for livestock feed? Corn is an excellent source of energy and cows love it. Energy is especially important for dairy cows since milk production requires a lot of energy. Soybeans - most often seen in dairy cattle diets as soybean meal - have good protein levels. Again, protein is important for cows just like for people. Many cows that eat more than just grass have an animal nutritionist involved at some point to ensure the diets are balanced. For photos from the combine while harvesting soybeans, click here.
Speaking of balanced, I love how this fruit salad looks. It is so pretty! I had a lot of fun photographing it, and I hope you have just as much fun enjoying it with those you love most.
**Amounts vary depending on your preferences and how much you want to make. I used about equal amounts of each**
- Sugar (amount is up to you; I use just a sprinkle of sugar to coat a fruit salad)
- Wash all fruit
- Cut up watermelon and pineapple into bite-size pieces
- Peel kiwi and cut into slices; then cut each slice into two
- Halve cherries and remove seeds
- Cut peaches into slices and halve those
- Add watermelon, peaches, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and cherries into a large bowl
- Sprinkle a little sugar on the salad
- Serve and enjoy!