Learning what causes roll wear is key to getting the most life out of your rolls. Although some roll wear can't be prevented because of your geographical location or other variables, there are other contributors to a shorter roll life that you can address. As we say at Horning: A little preventive maintenance goes a long way in the heat of harvest. Treat your equipment well, and it will serve you well.
Getting the longest life possible out of your investment is the goal. But in the rugged world of forage processing, even the best products will eventually wear down. Friction, foreign objects, and dirt all take their toll on equipment parts. Since you know that your rolls will eventually wear out, how do you know when it's time to replace them?
All of the machines from Anna's farm, Gerringer Dairy, were old and worn out, but her crew did their best to make them work each season. Until last year. In 2022, they had an unusually dry growing season. As a result, they needed to purchase corn from their neighbors. However, since their neighbors plant their corn in closer rows, buying their corn wasn't an option with Anna’s current machinery. Plus, the neighbors' corn was "probably the worst that you would ever want to see. It was waist-high, and the grass was equally as high," Anna said.
Unfortunately there is no “Silver Bullet” for successfully harvesting a downed crop. Oftentimes the variables are different and what works well for 1 instance does not for another, so a bit of experimentation is in order. That being said, there is a consensus amongst farmers that some methods work better than others. So here goes
In the first part of September 2022, Farm progress reported that corn maturity was running one or two percent behind our five - year average. Analysts were expecting corn ratings to hold steady but the USDA lowered them a point, leaving 53% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition. Eight of the top 18 production states had made some measurable harvest progress, leading to a national tally of 5%. That’s one point faster than the prior five-year average of 4%.
Many farmers & ranchers are taking measures to optimize their harvest yields for better nutritional value. For the most part this battle is won or lost during the harvest and processing of the crop. The processor rolls on harvesters have become a focal point for maximizing nutritional value in feed.
While Virginia may not lead the nation in corn production, harvesting slightly over 2 million tons of corn silage is a big undertaking, with potential for many farmers to be shortchanged on their ROI. Horning Mfg is committed to innovating the success of Virginia farmers to assure they reap the best return on their investment.
Last year Wisconsin saw an increase in the state average harvest yield for corn silage from 21.0 tons per acre in 2020, to 21.5 tons per acre in 2021. Statista.com states a total of 19,135,000 tons of corn silage was harvested in the state during the 2021 harvest season.