Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fantastic contraption

Choppers are amazing machines.
This chopper takes the entire, juicy, huge, green corn plant - cobs, stalk and all - and chops it finely into tiny digestible bits.  So small of bits that they can be blown into a wagon.  And it does it all really fast.
Just think about mowing a lawn - when the grass is wet it takes the mower a little bit of time to cut up the grass.  Sometimes it even stalls the mower if you're doing it too fast.  (That happens to other people, too, right?)
We started the corn harvest yesterday.  We're chopping all of the corn to feed to the cattle all year.  That means we don't just use the corn kernels - we use the entire plant. 
The boys and I went to ride with Kris in the field.  Here he is with the chopper and the wagon in back.  The chopper blows the chopped corn through that yellow tube into the wagon. 
Here's Kris.  Chopping takes a lot of concentration.  It's not like hitting cruise control and going on the highway.  You have to chop the hard-to-get-to parts first, then you have to coordinate with the people driving the wagons ... sometimes Kris chops with the wagon on the back, and sometimes he has guys drive a tractor alongside it with a wagon.  It goes faster that way, because as soon as one wagon is filled, another is ready - instead of unhooking a full wagon and hooking up an empty one.

When we were doing this yesterday, Kris strained to make a turn and said, "That new ditch sometimes catches me off guard.  Also ... I can't move my arms."  Yes, it was a tight fit for five people in a chopper! 

That was the end of our ride.  I guess 'arm mobility' is the reason there's only an extra seat for one.

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