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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 TKt LETHMI80E HWAIO t, _ harvester hay into chain-bottom wagon Forage harvester gaining popularity Gordon Day ipreadi the chopped hay throughout the trench silo By RIC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer Hay forage operations are gaining popularity in southern Alberta and after seven years In the business Gordon Day Ekes the results he is getting. Located on a dryland-Irriga- tion combination farm five miles southwest of Fort Mac- leod, Gordon forages an oats- barley crop, this year from the dryland section of the farm. He has 'seeded 40 acres of the combination crop but will forage only 20 acres because of the exceptionally heavy stand. The rest of the crop will ba combined and rolled for feed. The idea of the forage opera- tion Is tlte storage of chopped hay and grain crops in a cured state. This facilitates easy feeding and allows for case of digestion for the animals. 'There are various ways of storing forage hay, including the large cylindrical upright cement or wooden silos, roofed in structures with the hay piled on the ground and trench or horizontal silo. With a slight hill adjacent to the hay field, the trench silo method is suited ideally to the Day operation, The key to Ite lay prepara- tion is a. forage harvester. This unique machine cuts the crop off near the ground with a sickle. The hay then enters a chopping area Immediately behind the sickle. The kernels and stocks, which are chopped into a fine mixture, are blown by a high- speed fan into a trailing wagon which la specially equipped for unloading. The lime element for the vest is critical for proper har- rost conditiiim. MH yon can squeeze moisture out of a hand fun of the foraged hay then H It too early. If you cant make a ball out of the hand fuQ then k IB too he said. "There is about a three-day period when the harvest condi- tions are close to MeaL" The trench is cot Into OM side hill, leaving the floor of the bole level with the entrance end. This facilitates easy han- dling and loading for move- ment to the cattle corrals. The sides of the trench an sloped outward, making it wider the top than At the bottom. Ttus aids in the pack- ing process since the weight of Plan to make MACLEOD FARM CENTRE hi FORT MACLEOD YOUR HEADQUARTERS for all your NEW and USED MACHWERY NEEDS! Including NEW and USED BA1ERS NEW and USED COMBINES NEW and USED BALE WAGONS NEW and USED MANURE SPREADERS ASK ABOUT OUR INTEREST FREE TERMS KB MARCH, 1973 MACLEOD FARM CENTRE PHONE 234-1428 FORT MACLEOD the tractor Is spread through out the entire width of tin trench. As each of the two wagons la dumped into the trench, Gor- don spreads die hay thinly over the area with a small tracked tractor. This not only spreads the hay but packs the hay al- ready in the trench, removing the oxygen. As soon as the oxygen is re- moved, the curing process starts. The wagons used have an endless chain which covers Uw entire floor area. With the pow- er of the tractor moving llirough a series of power De- ducing sprockets and arms, the loads are winched out tlw back and onto the ground. With the critical time ele- ment for tire entire haying op- eration, Gordon has hired Den- zil Connor to operate the forage harvester and his brother Kevin to keep tlw two wagons on the go. Tliere is about 320 tons of foraged hay in tlie trench, and Gordon plans to harvest tlte rest of the combination barley and oats crop. W. A. Day, a man who taught school sotitli of Fort Macleod before 1910 and who later turn- ed to farming and ranching and other business ventures, explained that forage har proved itself to him the year the Day Ranch started using the method. It was 1967 and as it turned tut, it was the year they de- cided to get out of the sheep business Following hard on tin heels of a three year quaran- tine when they couldn't sell any sheep at ail, the flock was get- tine to be old. Many of the 300 ewea were up to 12 years old and they all had lambs at foot. When the foraga hay was brought la the first time, they fed Jt to the sheep well as the cattle they had raised as replacements for the sheep. That year, the fleeces from the sheep were the heaviest ha had ever raised. The ewes wore all real fat and the lambs wera In real good shape. To get out of them all to- gether, he sold the entire lot ot fat ewes and lambs to a Hut- terite colony north of Fort Mao- teod for pair. Since the going rate for oM ewes was 50 cents each, he fig- ures the forage hay added about to each to the prim since the Hutterite people liked (o eat the fat ewes. Cut Beaver new frontier A new agricultural develop- ment project is underway on the Saskatchewan River Delta. Called the Cut Beaver Project, It represents a northern fron- tier for agriculture in the prov- ince. Development of the Squaw Rapids hydro power complex in the early led to the open- ing of the now farmland. Canada department of agri- culture scientists at the Mot- fort, Saak., Research Station arc co-operating with the pro- vincial agriculture government to develop the agricultural po- oi the ;