Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
Down Arrow
Wednesday, November 30 2016 2:14 PM

Corn Harvest

Heather Family

Welcome to the ILS blog! My name is Heather Donley and I am part of the Quality Assurance and Communications team.  I grew up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota before heading to Kansas State University. KSU introduced me both to my husband and to the ILS family.  I began working for ILS in 2000, and I now live with my husband on our ranch.  We have 4 children, a Border Collie, a Corgi and lots of cows and horses.

I love the fall.  It brings back memories of harvest on our farm in Minnesota.  I remember riding with my grandpa and dad in the combine while picking corn, or keeping my mom and grandma company in the grain truck while they loaded the corn from the combine and took it to our grain bins for storage.

While I enjoyed being part of the “harvest crew”, my mom’s pumpkin bars may well be my favorite harvest memory. My mom always brought lunch out to the field for the farm crew, and her homemade pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting tasted heavenly!  You can find them in our recipe section or by clicking here.

Growing up on a farm taught me to appreciate the seasons and be thankful for the land.  My dad and grandpa worked hard to prepare our fields and plant the seeds in the spring, and then tended to the crop all summer.  From May to August, we patiently waited for the corn to grow.  We prayed for sun, timely rains, and no hail!

Although I no longer live on the farm in Minnesota, my job enables me to be a part of the ILS farming family.  The growing season in Kansas mirrors what we had in Minnesota, and we farm with the same core values that my dad and grandpa taught me all of those years ago – care for the soil, tend to the crop, and honor the fall harvest crop by using it responsibly.

The fall corn harvest on our ILS farms makes three different feedstuffs for our cattle: silage, high moisture corn, and dry corn. 

Silage requires harvesting the entire corn plant using silage cutters.  The resulting feed contains both the corn kernels and the stalk of the plant.  We store the harvested silage in a large concrete bunker where it is packed into a pile removing the oxygen which allows it to ferment.  Think of canning for cows!

Harvest 1  Harvest 2  Harvest 3

Both high moisture and dry corn harvest removes the kernel from the plant stalk.  A combine (similar to the one used by my dad), takes the kernel off of the plant and puts it into a semi-truck to be hauled to our feed yards.  After arriving at the feed yard, high moisture corn moves through a grinder before being placed in a bunker just like the silage.  Dry corn travels from the field to grain bins at the feed yard to be stored until the cattle need it.

Providing our animals with a well balanced casserole of feed tops our priority list.  We honor the fall harvest crop by turning it into delicious and healthy beef. 

I love to pair a great tasting beef dinner with my mom’s pumpkin bars to celebrate the fall harvest with my family!


Pumpkin Bars Recipe >>
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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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