Friday, July 19, 2013

Wheat harvest in Southwest Michigan, July 14, 2013

               Chickens eating corn because wheat is too expensive in Michigan [Photo, Micki Glueckert].

The harvest continues in Berrien County in the Southwest corner of Michigan. Our local correspondent Micki Glueckert got photos.

                             Wheat field, Berrien County, July 14, 2013 [Photo, Micki Glueckert].

Micki says, "Caught one guy harvesting yesterday. A lot of the other fields must have been done earlier; I thought they would wait another day because we had had so much rain."

                            Wheat Straw bales in England, August 2006 [Photo, Wikimedia].

"I asked the guy who owns Buchanan Feed Mill why they round baled the straw. He said the big dairy farms bale the straw after the wheat is harvested in round bales, drop them in a big hopper that chops the straw up and mixes it in their feed which is I believe a high protein feed that needs some fiber added.  The straw has no nutritive value but slows the feed down so the gut can extract more good stuff from the feed. Some guys also drop a bale in a chopper that shreds the straw and blows it around the barn, for bedding. It makes a lot less work with the big round bales. I remember our neighbor trying round bales of hay for the horses. They they didn't like it, and the neighbor needed a chainsaw to cut them up as you couldn't just pull the hay out without a great deal of work."

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