Grazing is the best option for your livestock feed, but their availability is a problem during winters. So the forage can be cut and gathered during peak seasons and be used as cattle’s source of food later. There was a time when this was done physically, but now machines are used to reap the abundant forage, gathered, and stored. This is called mechanically obtained forage. Although the one reaped mechanically costs twice as much as grazed forage (not talking about physical/manual harvesting), so privilege it brings can’t be ignored. In any case, most forage crops yield for 7-9 months of the year, so it is necessary to store it for the rest of the year.
Importance of Silage Machines
Using a silage machine on your fieldwork has been proven much more advantageous rather than using physical or manual methods to cut the crops for silage preparation. Harvesting mechanically benefits you in many ways, of which the accompanying points are on top.
Extra grain acquired: Mechanized collecting disposes of the chances of losses of grain that can occur during manual cutting of the yield. This is because of the fact that tying the recently harvested crop, for carrying or transporting saves you a great deal, also tending to reduce the misfortune of incomplete threshing. Recent Studies obtained from research work, demonstrate a total of 5% to 10% increment in yield when done by silage machine.
Saves Time: It is clearly observable that while preparing silage for your flock, going for mechanical assistance is always a better option than doing it manually by hand-operated means. This is because harvester can reap and thresh approximately one acre of land in just 60 minutes on an average. Meanwhile, the ancient by-hand method would require 12 individuals on the field plus one entire day to perform the same task, excluding the threshing.
Reduced time to market: Experimentation shows that the manual methodology requires an additional step to be involved i.e., threshing, which would result in taking a few days for this to be completed, followed by one or two extra days for cleaning. In this manner, the time from cutting to making it ready for further silage process would generally be up to seven days, although when contrasted to using mechanical aid is just an hour or so per acre of land.
Quality Silage: The silage process includes fermentation, sometimes using a baler if the water content is high and a few more. Quality silage can only be produced if the process of harvesting is done in a precise and required manner, giving off forage that doesn’t contain many impurities. This can be achieved using forage harvester. The automated reaping produces well-cut yet clean fodder grain when contrasted with the manual procedure. The difference may be small but negligible.
Lower net cost: At the end of the day, it is money that is the reason for every effort farmer makes for his farm or herd, throughout the day. Producing quality silage and more of it at a fast rate would help him make enough money to meet his requirements. If we are talking about the net-cost of making silage, Mechanized harvesting would surely tend to be lower than the expense of manual processing.
No Dependence on labor: A major cost that contributes while dealing with large fields is the labor cost or the money you would have to pay for every person working on your farm, cutting the crop. Although buying a silage harvesting machine would cost you a great amount, but it is just a one-time investment. It would not only make you less dependent on labor but save you a great deal that you are already paying because of their services. Moreover, without any doubt, mechanically prepared silage has a better quality if the harvest is done properly, at best times, and handled with care afterward.
Harvesting in Pakistan
Pakistan, being an agricultural county, has a major percentage of the economy based on agriculture and livestock but fails to make the most out of the resources available due to lack of technological advancement. Talking of forage production in Pakistan, yields are very low contrasted with yields gained by other research organizations and all around farms managed in a proper way. Quality of forage, its productivity as well as profitability, incorporate density of planting, preparation, including the development phases of yield before harvesting. The above-mentioned characteristics can be deeply influenced by the practices chosen for crop management and even enhanced by choosing the best time for the harvest.
Safe Stop Procedure
Various kinds of forager and their parts may have specific features that can’t be ignored while thinking about the risks and hazards; the process can make your face. It is way too risky to work on a machine while it is powered by a direct supply. The most significant measure for safety is to follow the method ‘safe stop’ before you try to resolve any problem (maintenance, blockage, adjustment, etc.) that includes
- Turn on the Handbrake.
- All the controls to be neutral.
- Motor to be turned off
- Key to be removed.
Not following the aforementioned precautions can lead to a number of deadly accidents Operators attempting to clear blockages or trying to work, making physical contact with the machine while the engine is running, cost them their life. So don’t forget to take care of the safe stop procedure as it could be risky.
First of all, the mentioned factors aren’t the only ones influencing to choose machinery over labor. Factors, for example, the pace of filling of transport vehicles and storehouses, capital and running cost, power utilization, suitability for direct-cut or wilting systems, and ease of handling the machine, may be considered as significant by the farmers. Moreover, other by-hand methods cannot be proven advantageous in current times. They were performed by the ancient people when farms were just a personal space and everyone had enough time to harvest their own farms manually. Talking of now, no farmer can afford to spend 12 days on harvesting a single farm. So when acres are the topic, Use of mechanical aid for harvesting the crop for silage making or whatsoever purpose becomes necessary.