We chopped silage yesterday. I was able to take a few pictures, but they aren't the greatest. We only chopped about 10 acres, but it was really good silage. The piece of ground the corn was on is pretty rough, but it was the best corn I've ever seen out there. Apparently, it likes hot, dry weather. I would've liked to run the combine through it, because I planted it at 38,000 plants/acre. There were some really good ears out there. I'm guessing it would've made 160-170bu/acre, which would've been awesome for that ground. Grandpa and I were pretty satisfied. When you chop silage, you take the whole plant, and it is chopped up and spit out and taken to a pile, where it is packed down. When you pick with a combine, you only take the ear.
I've also started pulling pipe apart as we are just about done irrigating corn. I've been doing a few yield checks while pulling pipe apart. How you do it on 36" rows is mark off a section of the field that is 14'6" long and count all of the harvest-able ears in that section, as it constitutes 1/1000th of an acre. Then, you pick every 5th ear and count the kernels on them and do some voodoo math. I did three fields, and two were better than expected. One was not so good, but it's on sand, so I kind of expected it. Here are the ears from the best field I checked:
You can count kernels by counting the row length, and then how many around the ears are. As an example, if an ear is 18 kernels around and 38 long - 18*38 = 684.
Here's how the math works -
Average kernels (of the ears pictured above) - 595
Harvest population (number of ears counted in the 14'6" area (28) * 1,000) - 28,000
595*28,000 = 16,660,000 (This would be the amount of kernels per acre)
16,660,000/90,000 (amount of kernels it takes to make a bushel) = 185bu/acre
Usually a bushel consists of 80,000 kernels, but I like to fudge a little to be surprised in the combine. So, if I divide by 85,000, I get 196bu/acre. If I divide by 80,000, I'd have 208bu/acre. How awesome would that be? Keep in mind, this is only one spot in the middle of the field. I only do this to get an idea of how well a certain hybrid works in a certain field. Obviously, this hybrid was placed in the right field. This will help in making my planting decisions next year, as different hybrids respond differently to each field and environment.