Crazy Moos

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy!

Growing Corn for the Cows to Eat

Chopping the Corn

**Chopping the corn**

Every year during the summer, here on the dairy we are busy growing corn for the cows. Corn would probably be the staple food of our dairy cows.

A lot of people today criticize animal agriculture for using corn. The argument being that with all the corn that cows consume, instead of feeding it to cows, we could use the corn to feed people instead. The argument seems to make sense at first, but when you look at the bigger picture, you find that they are forgetting something.

When we feed the corn to cows, we don’t just feed them the corn cob. We feed them the entire stalk (the whole plant). The entire corn plant is cut up, and put into a pile. The pile is packed by a large tractor that compresses the pile to eliminate oxygen from the pile. Oxygen = spoilage. The pile is covered, and it ferments so we have a feed source that is available all year around.

The cow is able to digest the entire corn stalk, something people cannot eat. So the cow actually is converting a product indigestible by people, into a high quality food product rich in protein.

Corn is a very environmentally friendly crop as well. Corn is like grass, but grows much taller. Because corn grows quite tall, you get a lot of food per acre of land. So compared to grass, we can grow more food per acre which uses less natural resources.

 California Corn Field

**A California corn field, not like the Midwest**

So we have been busy here on the dairy, chopping this year’s corn crop. I took some pictures around the ranch of what is going on. Before we started chopping, my sister checked the corn to make sure it was ready to chop. When harvesting the corn it’s important to make sure it’s ready!

 

Checking Corn

**My sister checking the corn**

Checking the Corn

**Very short compared to the corn**

Chopping Corn

**Loading the trucks**

Chopping the corn with Sunset

**It looks pretty cool with the sun in the background**

Chopping

**The corn chopper cuts up the stalks then shoots it into the trucks who haul it to the pile**

Corn Silage

**A pile of cut up corn**

Silage Pit

**The pile slowly growing**

Filed under: Farm, Farming, , , , , , ,

Interesting Facts about California Agriculture

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**A California Wheat Field**

California is famous for so many things: technology, Apple computers, beaches, surfing, movies, Hollywood. What many people don’t realize is that California affects their daily lives in a much more important way. Note:some people may beg to differ since it’s almost impossible to live without Facebook, or their iPhone…

California is one of the most productive places in the world in terms of food production, yet many of the people in California are unaware of the immense productivity of California farms. Many people pass farms here in California while driving down the road, without realizing that California is actually the breadbasket of the world.

Just to prove how important California agriculture is to the United States, I pulled together some fun and interesting facts. Some of these facts may surprise you

  • California is the world’s 5th largest supplier of food, cotton fiber and other agricultural commodities.
  • California is the largest producer of food in the U.S. yet has less than 4% of the farms in the U.S.
  • The unique Mediterranean climate allows us to grow over 450+ different crops.
  • Some of these crops are exclusive to California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pomegranates, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts
  • California is the largest exporter of almonds in the world
  • California is the number 1 dairy state in the U.S.
  • California produces over 86% of all the lemons consumed in the United States.
  • California is the 4th largest wine producer in the world and produces over 90% of the wine in the U.S.
  • 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California
  • California accounts for 94% of the processed tomatoes in the U.S.
  • California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberry production.
  • The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.
  • California produces 25% of the nation’s onions and 43% of the nation’s green onions.

The pictures in this posting were taken by me this month. You can see how much variety there is in farming just in these few pictures.

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**Beef cows grazing in Northern California**

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**A Rice Field **

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**An Olive Orchard**

IMG_0439

**Sunflowers**

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Filed under: Dairy, Farming, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Crazy Moos

About Crazy Moos

Welcome to the Crazy Moos blog! Crazy Moos is a play on words, basically trying to create a fun environment (crazy) for dairy news (moos). The overall goal of this blog is to communicate “moosworthy information” (newsworthy information) about the dairy industry and important happening on the dairy farm. Hopefully this blog will help people learn about various aspects of the dairy industry and what happens on the dairy farm. Visit regularly for new blog postings!

About Me

I am a 3rd generation dairyman in California, and our dairy farm really is a reflection of the American dream. My grandfather came to America from Europe after World War II in search of greater opportunities, and a safer place to raise a family. He came to America with hardly anything except his exceptional appreciation for hard work. My grandpa after a few years was able to start his own dairy farm and start producing high quality, nutritious milk. In the 70’s, he moved the operation to a more remote area (our current location), and started growing the herd.

Today, I am actively taking part in the farms daily responsibilities. I’m well qualified to be in the dairy industry, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the dairy industry having just graduating college with a degrees in dairy science, and dairy processing.

Many people today believe that the dairy industry has been taken over by large corporate farms, but a recent study done shows that most dairies are family owned. In fact, 99% of dairy farms in California are family owned and operated. My whole family is involved on the dairy. My sisters are caretakers of the baby calves, and we guys take care of the cows. There are eight kids in our family, so the dairy is definitely a family affair!

Milk is one of the world’s most nutritious natural products. So many people today are forgetting that milk is filled with many different nutrients, all combined to work in synergy together to maximize the body’s absorption of these nutrients. It’s the perfect blend of nutrients, in nature’s most natural product.

Milk, it’s a natural product, that’s naturally good for you!

**All Pictures, unless specified otherwise, Copyright © 2011 Crazy Moos. All Rights Reserved**