I have yet to purchase a forage harvester, because I'm not really clear on what their strength is. I was under the impression you use them to make chaff out of your crops.

I'm not clear why you would want to do that, when you can make chaff out of grass.

Is there a benefit to a Forage Harvester over, say, a loader wagon?

Also, I'm wondering what the benefit of an auger wagon is? I'm not clear when I'd be in a situation where I'd wish I had one.

Thanks in advance!

I have yet to purchase a forage harvester, because I'm not really clear on what their strength is. I was under the impression you use them to make chaff out of your crops. I'm not clear why you would want to do that, when you can make chaff out of grass. Is there a benefit to a Forage Harvester over, say, a loader wagon? Also, I'm wondering what the benefit of an auger wagon is? I'm not clear when I'd be in a situation where I'd wish I had one. Thanks in advance!
 
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Just a quick description, but many factors are involved as to the crop used, such as alfalfa, grass, sorgum.

According to the website of the North Dakota University, the difference between silage and haylage is in how far the moisture content is reduced before the ensilage process is started.

"Forage silages can be separated into three groups on the basis of harvest moisture levels:

  1. High moisture or direct cut silage at 70+ percent moisture.

  2. Wilted silage at 60-70+ percent moisture.

  3. Low-moisture haylage at 40 to 60 percent moisture."

Grass for silage, if cut in reasonable weather, can go straight into ensilage. For haylage, it needs to be wilted (allowed to dry in the sun and wind) for between 4 and 24 hours. Although needing a longer period of good wilting weather than silage, it is much quicker to make than hay, which needs the moisture content reduced to between 10 and 25% before baling. Also, grass grown on very wet land may not wilt down to a suitable dryness for making hay, even in dry conditions, whereas it can be made into good haylage.

The downside of haylage is that air exclusion has to be very good, and the moisture content of the cropped fodder has to be within quite tight limits in order for it to ferment properly. Even a few percentage points difference in the moisture content can have a significant effect on the nutritional qualities, appearance, and odour of the finished feed. To quote the NDU website:-

"Fine chopping, rapid filling and good sealing of the forage from air are critical. Allowing air into the haylage will cause heating and the growth of undesirable yeast and molds. In addition, haylage can heat spontaneously if oxygen becomes available. Fires have been reported when the moisture in the haylage is near 40 percent. More often, the heating will form indigestible products which lower protein and energy values. A haylage with tobacco-brown or black color and a caramelized odor has undergone some spontaneous heating."

Grass can be fed directly to cattle whereas corn should not be chopped and directly fed before fermenting. Cattle eating on fresh chopped corn will stuff themselves because the sugar content is higher and will cause fermenting in the stomach leading to bloating, possibly killing the cattle .

Just a quick description, but many factors are involved as to the crop used, such as alfalfa, grass, sorgum. According to the website of the North Dakota University, the difference between silage and haylage is in how far the moisture content is reduced before the ensilage process is started. "Forage silages can be separated into three groups on the basis of harvest moisture levels: 1. High moisture or direct cut silage at 70+ percent moisture. 2. Wilted silage at 60-70+ percent moisture. 3. Low-moisture haylage at 40 to 60 percent moisture." Grass for silage, if cut in reasonable weather, can go straight into ensilage. For haylage, it needs to be wilted (allowed to dry in the sun and wind) for between 4 and 24 hours. Although needing a longer period of good wilting weather than silage, it is much quicker to make than hay, which needs the moisture content reduced to between 10 and 25% before baling. Also, grass grown on very wet land may not wilt down to a suitable dryness for making hay, even in dry conditions, whereas it can be made into good haylage. The downside of haylage is that air exclusion has to be very good, and the moisture content of the cropped fodder has to be within quite tight limits in order for it to ferment properly. Even a few percentage points difference in the moisture content can have a significant effect on the nutritional qualities, appearance, and odour of the finished feed. To quote the NDU website:- "Fine chopping, rapid filling and good sealing of the forage from air are critical. Allowing air into the haylage will cause heating and the growth of undesirable yeast and molds. In addition, haylage can heat spontaneously if oxygen becomes available. Fires have been reported when the moisture in the haylage is near 40 percent. More often, the heating will form indigestible products which lower protein and energy values. A haylage with tobacco-brown or black color and a caramelized odor has undergone some spontaneous heating." Grass can be fed directly to cattle whereas corn should not be chopped and directly fed before fermenting. Cattle eating on fresh chopped corn will stuff themselves because the sugar content is higher and will cause fermenting in the stomach leading to bloating, possibly killing the cattle .
 
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