Purchase photos

Silage going to replace lost grass





SCOTT CITY -- Even with approximately 15 trucks ferrying silage from field to farm, operators of the two John Deere Bridgeman Harvesting swathers had plenty of idle time waiting.

And they used some of that time washing away webs from the crush of spider mites in the field of corn being chopped north of Scott City.

The silage from the irrigated circle was bound for the 10,000-acre Fairleigh Ranch approximately 11 miles away, downstream of Scott State Lake.

"Every field we've been in has spider mites," said Craig Bridgeman, operating one of the swathers. "They look for shade in the corn."

The corn field being cut originally was planted for grain, but Fairleigh purchased it for use as silage instead, simply because the massive expanse of pastures used by Fairleigh wasn't producing any grass.

"They just needed the feed worse," Bridgeman said.

Some of the corn, however, didn't pollinate, according to Bridgeman, so it might be the best use.

Bridgeman was hired to do the job before heading south to Texas to start the silage process there. Bridgeman Harvesting travels the circuit cutting silage, starting with wheat in the spring.

Even the fall cutting season is running early.

"Normally, we don't start chopping until September," he said. "So it's early."