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Letters to the Editor....

Darren Olsen, Editor Published on 16 September 2009

The letters below are in regards to the August 11, 2009 issue of Progressive Forage Grower

Dear Editor,

I don’t know who was more surprised and pleased when we saw the cover of the August issue of your Progressive Forage magazine. The picture was taken September, 2008 at our dairy – Hunter-Haven Farms, Inc. near Pearl City, Illinois.

The individual driving the tractor in the foreground is Paul Weaver, a retired farmer from Lanark, Illinois, who helps at corn silage time every year.

In the background is Greg Derrer, a full-time employee, also from Lanark, who has been with us for 11 years. Greg has become our silage-packing expert and really enjoyed the article on silage production.

Is there a way to get two additional copies of the August issue for these two individuals? If a cost would be involved, I would certainly be willing to pay it. That being said, even a copy of the cover would be a thrill for Paul.

Lanark is “smalltown U.S.A.” and word will get around quickly about Paul’s new-found “notoriety.”

My copy? It is in the employee break room being shared by the rest of the field and feeding personnel.

Indeed, a good article in a fine magazine. Keep up the good work.

Thanks in advance,

Tom Block
Pearl City, Illinois

Editor’s note: We also received a letter from Keith Bolsen, Professor Emeritus, Kansas State University, expressing concern about the safety issues associated with silage bunker management.

Shortly after his initial communication, he related a recent experience about Doug DeGroff, who was crushed while sampling silage.

The excerpt below reminds us of the importance of safety, whether on the tractor or in front of the pile.

“Doug was standing in front of the pile taking a sample when suddenly the silage hit him from the side. Doug was unable to move and was buried by the silage with just an arm sticking out.

"He dug his face clear of silage and when the feeder returned to the pile he pulled him from the avalanched area that buried him. The weight of the silage broke his back in two spots just above his waistline. He has many torn ligaments, four injured discs and bruises, but “everything works,” he says.

As Dennis Murphy, Extension Safety Specialist at Penn State has said, “We have nothing to lose by practicing safety; but we have everything to lose by not practicing it.”

—Darren Olsen, Editor

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