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
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
P.O. Box 936
Bloomington, IN 47402
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.