Tom Kilcer, Advanced Ag Systems
Minimum till haylage is a new process where we optimize the forage planted, carefully watch to harvest at the peak of quality, and then use the mower to mix a pile of dirt, dead bugs, half rotten plant residue into the forage to make sure your feed will have limited milk producing ability. Looking at the table at the right, the range of ash is considerable. The worst offended are legume and winter forage (triticale). There are two key points this occurs. First is the setup of the mower. Most farmers drop the pin in and go without looking at the manual or making any adjustments. Most are set to mow much to close for the good of the forage produced, the regrowth of the stubble left behind, and the rapid drying of the crop for same day haylage. Fields are not table top flat. They are filled with little dips, rises, and bumps plus rodent burrow mounds. The closer you mow the more the mower flattens the field by incorporating the soil into the forage.