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   Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 02:46 PM

October 23, 2008: Shucklage

Not everyone works in a cubicle! Part of my yearly work load is to put up feed for the year for our cows. This is what is called shucklage. This stuff used to be the waste product of seed corn production until some realized it makes a high quality cheap feed. We were early converts.



The trucks are first filled with picked ear corn and taken to the Pioneer plant where the majority of the seed corn kernels are "shucked" by a special machine. The leftover product of shucks and corn has an added innoculant {fermentation product} and is sold as shucklage for a cheap feed source. It runs about $14 a ton. We feed around a ton a day, they usually bring us around 500 ton. 30 or more trucks will bring this "shucklage" to our farm. Once it gets here it has to be pushed into a pile like a huge loaf of bread and it is run over and compressed. Finally thousands of gallons of water are added to the top to assure fermentation. My husband is driving the payloader I run the bobcat!




glatt  Thursday Oct 23 02:50 PM

How do you unload the truck? Is there something inside pushing it out?



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 02:54 PM

They have like a conveyor belt system and the truck drivers do the unloading. Very kewl and noisy!



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 02:59 PM

To compare the cost of hay which has less protein than shucklage; a large round bale of hay is $60-$80 we would need to feed one bale a day and supplement corn @ $4 a bushel @ 2 per day and we only have 30 cows!



newtimer  Thursday Oct 23 03:07 PM

You look like you're well-bundled on a clear day in October. How far north are you?



glatt  Thursday Oct 23 03:22 PM

And the cows eat that stuff. Amazing.



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 03:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtimer View Post
You look like you're well-bundled on a clear day in October. How far north are you?

It was about 30 some degrees for awhile in the morning and the wind was vicious yesterday! I am in northern Indiana.


HungLikeJesus  Thursday Oct 23 03:35 PM

I think that's called a walking-floor trailer.




Pico and ME  Thursday Oct 23 03:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana View Post
It was about 30 some degrees for awhile in the morning and the wind was vicious yesterday! I am in northern Indiana.
Hey Nirvana, I'm from northwest Indiana and now live in north central Indiana. We are nearly neighbors.


Pico and ME  Thursday Oct 23 03:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana View Post
It was about 30 some degrees for awhile in the morning and the wind was vicious yesterday! I am in northern Indiana.
Hey Nirvana, I'm from northwest Indiana and now live in north central Indiana. We are nearly neighbors.

And yes, its been cold.


TheMercenary  Thursday Oct 23 04:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana View Post
They have like a conveyor belt system and the truck drivers do the unloading. Very kewl and noisy!
I always wondered about that. We have tons of trucks down here with wood pulp/chips on them and I never could figure out how they got the stuff out.


Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 05:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pico and ME View Post
Hey Nirvana, I'm from northwest Indiana and now live in north central Indiana. We are nearly neighbors.

Well howdy neighbor!


Bullitt  Thursday Oct 23 05:30 PM

They're also known as live-bottom trailers. We used those in Wyoming at the wood pellet manufacturing plant to offload unprocessed sawdust from the sawmills. They're kinda slow, but much easier than using a shovel as you might imagine.
http://www.troutriverindustries.ca/p...ction=Capacity



Aliantha  Thursday Oct 23 06:59 PM

Cattle love anything to do with corn. I know my dad always gives his corn shucks to the his cows, so it doesn't surprise me that they'd market the commercial quantities as feed.



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 07:06 PM

I looked at the last trailer and they are "walking trailers"! They unload in 15 min or less.



WillieO  Thursday Oct 23 07:23 PM

In Central California, across the road from where I work there is a David and Son's Sunflower Seed Packaging plant. The trucks of bulk seeds come in, get unhooked from the tractors, hoisted up on one end with a giant crane and the seeds come sliding out! Kind of weird looking, but much simpler than a truck with a built in conveyor belt. Maybe because the sunflower seeds are very light weight, a whole truck is easy to lift?



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 07:57 PM

Well I really looked in the last truck, its not exactly a conveyor belt. It has four separate pieces of flooring that have planks like giant piano keys they all move forward then about every other one moves back and they move forward then the others move back.

I have the tickets from the drivers and each truck here is carrying about 18,750 kgs, don't know how that compares to the weight of seeds.



Elspode  Thursday Oct 23 08:04 PM

Didn't that stuff just used to be called sileage? Thought it had been around for quite some time.



Nirvana  Thursday Oct 23 08:39 PM

Silage is entire corn plants, ears and all chopped straight out of the field.



Elspode  Thursday Oct 23 10:16 PM

I've learned something new today! Go, me!



wolf  Friday Oct 24 01:33 AM

They had a weird harvester in the corn field across from the nuthouse this year. It sucked the whole corn plant into the front end, then stripped and shucked the kernals off the ears and spewed out the chopped up leftovers back onto the field. When the hopper filled up, they drove the machine over to an open top truck and the kernals got spewed into it.

There is probably a far more technical way to describe this, but my buzz-words are pretty much all psych related.

One thing that was kind of neat is that the harvester was fitted with superbright lights so that they could keep working after sundown.

Every year when they harvest the corn I can't help but thinking of Mrs. Frisby.

During the night harvesting I always think of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and usually tell at least one cow orker that they're out in the field harvesting the pods again.



SPUCK  Friday Oct 24 05:45 AM

Yeah, they use walking floor trucks here in CA as moving vans. They can unload the truck in about five minutes without getting out of the cab... Or even slowing down for that matter.


I kid.. I really did learn something on this thread.. I love that since I practically know everything - it's always nice to find some new tidbit.

Thanks, Nirvana.



Gravdigr  Saturday Oct 25 05:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf View Post
Every year when they harvest the corn I can't help but thinking of Mrs. Frisby.
'Mrs. Frisby & The Rats of NIMH" was the first book I ever read (3rd grade). I'm so grateful for this book getting me into reading, that at 40, I still read it every five years or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana View Post
We feed around a ton a day...30 cows
Wow. I never realized a cow eats almost seventy pounds per day.


ZenGum  Monday Oct 27 06:04 AM

Bah, in my day we had to unload the shucklage with pitch-forks. The whole village would turn out for the deschucklaging, like we used to say, and it was a long hard day, but it was worth it for the deshucklage ball that night.

And as for the schucking itself, well we had to do that by hand, and a terrible job it was. One time even old Father Murphy lost his temper with doing it and had a holy shucking fit.



spudcon  Monday Oct 27 07:06 AM

I remember that!



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