SMITHS GROVE, Ky. (WBKO) -- It's officially harvesting season in Warren County. The process of harvesting can be complicated if you are not a farmer. 13 News spent the day with Farmer Chad Elkins from Elkins Farms in Smith Grove. purpose of doing it might not be what you think.
"It's still got a little bit of moisture to it, but it should be ready to go in another week or so," says Elkins.
The corn is harvested with a combine right when the crops are not to dry and not too wet - harvesting when feed value is at its highest point.
"It's starting to dry down to get it to a safe moisture level,"explains Elkins.
Instead of the normal manual labor known during harvest season, machinery is helping farmers with labor and efficiency. A combine takes what multiple workers would normally do during harvest, and turns it into one process.
"(The combine) pulls it through, strip the ears from the plant, run it through, basically it's just shelling all the grain off of it," says Elkins. "We can do roughly 15-20 acres an hour"
Elkins farm in has begun harvesting but isn't done quite yet.
"We've harvested roughly, 800 acres for forage," says Elkins.
Forge (or silage) which is where farmers keep their piles where it will ferment.
Warren County harvest has begun, unlike surrounding counties.
"You'll see a weeks difference from Franklin to here, and probably at least another week from here to Glasgow," says Elkins. "I don't know if it's more so tradition or the way you've always done things or what," says Elkins.
At Elkins farm, they harvest what's called field corn.
"Any corn is predominately field corn," says Elkins.
The purpose of field corn isn't directly for humans, but instead for some farm friends - cattle.
"What they're eating right there, is everything mixed together," says Elkins, "they'll eat roughly 100 pounds at least a 100 pounds of sometimes more per day each."
If the cows don't eat at Elkins Farms, they can't produce dairy.
"We'll sell a tractor trailer load of milk a day, about eight thousand gallons a day," says Elkins.
The feed also gives nutrients to the calves.
"So these are all females. these will be replacement heifers, cows that we'll have for hopefully a long time," says Elkins.
Without field corn, calves and mamas couldn't eat, unable to produce for the community
Elkins Farms will harvest around 2,500 acres of corn for their dairy cows.