Silos are large storage units used to keep feed dry and free of mold and mildew. Grain products are harvested in the summer and fall and then stored in a silo over the winter months. If the grain gets damaged, the farmer loses not only his winter’s feed but money as well. Without grain he will be forced to either sell his livestock early or purchase feed from an outside vendor. Familiarize yourself with certain types of silos available on the market and other terms related to this product so you choose a silo just right for the storage job.
Agricultural siloAgricultural silos, also known as grain silos or bulk bins, are traditionally used on farms. They're used to store dry grains or silage. Agricultural silos come in a variety of sizes and can top out at 300 feet tall. As the silo fills up with grain, the weight compresses the feed to optimize storage space.
Modular silosIn some areas of the country, silos are not readily available for purchase, and freight charges add up quickly. A modular silo provides a realistic and affordable storage solution. They are easily assembled and reasonably lightweight, which cuts down on shipping costs.
Portable silosPortable silos can be set up quickly and handle as much material as many permanent silos. They are particularly beneficial in cases where material handling is a temporary situation.
Ladder systemsSince some silos can stretch over 250 feet in the sky, it is important that there is a safe way to access all parts of the silo. Ladder systems are made specifically for silos, and include offset platforms, cages, uprights, rungs and brackets.
Discharge systemsDischarge systems, also known as mixer or bin discharge systems are tools that help release viscous material (dry, non-elastic materials) so grain or feed flows freely as it unloads from a silo. There are several types of discharge systems and it's important to have the proper mechanism to unload the silo, otherwise the material that you're storing inside can clump together, blocking the discharge area.
SilageSilage is a fermented crop that is used as cattle feed. The fermenting process preserves the feed and allows it to be stored in a silo for months while remaining safe and nutritious for the animals.
North Dakota State University has an informative paper that explains the process of manufacturing silage and storing it safely.