T’is the season for corn and potato farmers to start battling the weather to get their crops harvested.
Whatcom County dairy farmers grow over 10,000 acres of corn that they ensile to feed their cows throughout the coming year.
Corn chopping has already started at RTJ Farms, a dairy farm just west of Lynden. RTJ Farms is a 400-500 cow operation and in total they will chop about 227 acres of corn for feed for their cows.
Ashton Beanblossom, RTJ Farms herd manager, spoke with Dillon Honcoop about how their farm manages to work around the sporadic rain spells all too common in the Pacific Northwest.
“We’re hoping to keep the rain off,” Beanblossom said. “The nice thing about corn is it can rain, and then, we can go out there and chop it pretty quickly after.”
She said they can even chop it in the rain. But when the ground gets exposed, their equipment can get stuck.
Their farm uses a nutritionist, and Beanblossom’s dad, to determine when the crop is ready to harvest.
They will look at the kernels to determine if the crop is ready.
Listen to this podcast to hear Ashton explain all the intricacies of the harvest.
“It’s really a family affair here,” she said.
Their chopper can do six rows of corn at a time. As it chops the corn, it also mulches it. They take the mulched corn back to their farm to be packed down in a bunker.
They will use either tires or hay to help keep a tarp on top of the pile.
They finished their corn harvest in 7 days, with 516 loads of corn.