Harvestore Blue Silo - unofficial tribute
This page is dedicated to Oklahomans who never saw a Blue Silo -
because they didn't leave near any wealthy farmers who owned them.
(For manufacturer, check http://www.harvestore.com/)

Harvestore Silo - A brand of oxygen limiting (air tight) upright silos with bottom unloading.

From "Development of silos" in Wisconsin's Changing Farmsteads

In the late 1940s a new, revolutionary silo began appearing. The A.O. Smith Company of Milwaukee,
manufacturer of glass-lined water heaters and beer vats, began making steel, glass-lined solos--Harvestores,
the company called them.  This first glass-lined silo was, in reality, a beer storage vat stood on end. 
Although they were considerably more expensive than the popular concrete stave silos, the blue silos
began doting the upper Midwest, especially Wisconsin.  The Harvestore silos tended to be found in the more prosperous dairy parts of the state.

Wisconsin made a significant contribution to silo design when an alternative to the top-unloading silo was developed by the A. O. Smith Company, headquartered in Milwaukee. Engineered to be mechanically unloaded from the bottom, these silos allow different crop storage conditions than their top-unloading counterparts do because of their sealed, oxygen-limiting design. After World War II, the company began constructing its familiar blue silos, built with panels of glass-lined metal. The design has been produced by other companies as well, but the familiar "Harvestore" name graces most farms with this type of silo.

Wisconsin Journal
Number 6
9 October 1997


"One Saturday Kaye and I abandoned the kids and headed for the nearby town of Cambridge. A couple of interesting things on the drive out.  I've been learning about silage and silos.  The Lexus of silos is the HarveStore, which is dark blue fiberglass over steel.  You can tell how well a dairy farmer has been doing by how many HarveStores he has, as opposed to concrete or galvanized steel silos. "

Corn to be used as grain for cattle feed is hauled to these silos, called "Harvestores", for storage. The truck driver backs the truck up to a "hopper" and raises the truck bed.

The use of silage reduces the farmer's dependence upon pasturage for milk production by preserving high energy feeds, primarily corn and alfalfa in this region, produced during the growing season for use throughout the year. The most efficient but also the most expensive means of preserving food crops for the livestock is the Harvestore type of silo. These large blue metal vacuum silos are ubiquitous throughout the region. They produce a higher quality silage than the ordinary form of silo, but they are extremely expensive and in order for them to be cost effective a fairly large herd and source of feed and a closely controlled feeding program are required. Such controls are not likely to be found on smaller farms.


The Willamette Valley, Oregon

"of touring was in Gratiot County, very near the

little farm town of Ithaca. There, we visited the

Klaas said that almost all Harvestore

silos on farms in Michigan are empty. Their

heyday was in the sixties and seventies."

Rix All-American


Blue Silo Co.(HO)


A great storage system for farm or industry, measures a scale 24 foot diameter by 49 foot tall. (at eave) Tank is molded in blue color and the top is molded in white.


628-0510.jpg (56433 bytes)

Upright Concrete Stave Silos

The Blue Silo Salesman by F.W. Owen

Salesman can really be a pain in the neck on a dairy farm. Especially now that they confuse things by calling themselves Nutritionists and Consultants. We (the dairy farmers) have to be polite to them for at least a little while until we figure out if they are a new milk inspector or from the government.

A few years back, we were milking 300 cows. No other dairyman within a wide radius was anywhere nearly as big. Just driving by, it looked like we were making money. We were drawing 'em (salesmen) like flies to molasses. Salesmen literally lined up in the driveway on some days. They drove in and out all day long and called on the phone at noon and all through the evening hours. At that time, I was very polite and spent lots of time with them.

On a hot day, one of these salesman probably had a bad day selling blue silos prior to arriving at our farm because his patter wasn't as smooth as usual.

I was in the holding area with seven or eight fresh heifers that had all calved in the last 48 hrs and never been through the parlor. The heifers were going around in the holding area like motorcycles inside a barrel. Manure was flying and it was hot. We were getting them milked but it was real tough.

That's when the blue silo salesmen unexpectedly stepped up to the back gate of the holding area and started pointing out the disadvantages of bunker silos.

I said something like: "Hey!, We LIKE bunker silos!. Can't you see those three big bunker silos right over there and that row of old dump trucks!"

The silo salesman lost his cool and shouted back: "It's dumb xxxx'x like you that make it so hard for me to sell blue silos."

I stepped through the man pass and out of the building. There was a frostfree hydrant right there with 125 feet of water hose neatly coiled up beside it.

I grabbed the hose and cooled off the blue silo salesman. He took off running down the drive toward his car. I ran along beside him, hoseing him all the way. Loop after loop of the hose uncoiled flawlessly so I had plenty of hose left while he rolled up his windows and locked his doors.

The word must have got around a bit since we didn't have quite as much trouble with them (Salesmen/Consultants/Nutritionists) for a few months.

Nowadays I don't chase them as a general rule, but I'm not very polite either. My current strategy is to stretch up to all 6' 5", fix 'em with a stoney gaze, and reply with grunts.


P.O. Box 936
Bloomington, IN 47402
(812) 332-6396

Rev. Leonard Sjogren
August 5, 2001

"Foolish and Wrong"

The parable farmer, who has apparently done no wrong in order to succeed, decides to tear down his old storage facilities and build bigger ones. Then he is going to retire to a well-earned life of leisure. It sounds good, doesn't it?

Among other reasons I asked Ann Arbuckle to put the picture of the silos on the worship folder cover was because it reminded me of the huge blue Harvestore silos which dot the American landscape. I was told years ago that when you saw more than one at a place, it meant that the farmer who lived there was really rich or really in debt. The problem for the biblical farmer is that the very night his life is ended with the word that he is a fool. Jesus makes a comment to his listeners at this point, "So it is for those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

To Jesus, who tells us the story, the man was both foolish and wrong. Is Jesus telling us that we shouldn't save anything for our retirement or for a rough financial time? Most likely, this is not his primary concern. (Maybe with the state of today's stock market, there might be a bit of truth in that suggestion--but it is probably not correct.) Jesus is not speaking about our IRA's as much as he is about our attitudes about material possessions and how we use them.

Profitable pasture management

By Dr. Ann Clark Assistant Professor, Department of Crop Science, University of Guelph.

It has been said that the advent of the Harvestore silo did more to improve alfalfa management and breeding than all the extensionists ever born. When a producer makes the decision to invest in a costly structure to conserve his alfalfa, he then takes seriously the need to put nothing but the best quality forage into the silo. The ensuing process must be managed skillfully to ensure top quality feed.

Feeding and Feed Storage

Concrete stave silos and oxygen limiting silos, of which Harvestore™ is a familiar brand name, were popular storage structures for chopped and ensiled (fermented) corn, alfalfa, and grass. This method of storage was successful and cows readily ate well-fermented crops. However, the physical removal of silage from such storage was relatively slow and increasing herd sizes dictated more labor-efficient storage methods.

Blue Streak Silo