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1462 Issued Au*u 



A. C. TRUE, Director. 





ANDREW M. SOULE, B. S. A., Sc. D., 

Director of Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Blachsburg, Virginia. 








14G2 ItoOftd A.U 



A. C. TRUE, Director. 





ANDREW M. SOULE, B. S. A., Sc. D., 

Director of Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Blachsburg, Virginia. 






Tliis syllabus of a lecture upon Silage and Silo Construction for the 
South, by Andrew M. Soule, B. S. A., Sc. D. director of the Virginia Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, Blacksburg, Va., is accompanied by 48 
lantern slides illustrating the topic. The syllabus and views have 
been prepared for the purpose of aiding farmers' institute lecturers 
ID their presentation of this subject before institute audiences. 

The numbers in the margins of the pages of the syllabus refer to 
similar numbers on the lantern slides and to their legends as given in 
the Appendix. Those in the body of the text refer to corresponding 
numbers in the list of authorities and references. 

In order that those using the lecture may have opportunity to fully 
acquaint themselves with the subject, references to its recent litera- 
ture are given in the Appendix. 

John Hamilton, 
Farmers 1 Institute Specialist. 

Recommended for publication. 
A. C. True, Director. 

Publication authorized. 

James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture. 

Washington, D. C, April 27, 1912. 



By Andrew M. Soule, B. S. A., Sc. D. 


The first silos were simply pits in the ground in which the fodder 
was thrown uncut. The fodder was well tramped as placed in the 
pits, and when the pits were full the whole was covered with boards 
and a layer of earth. This method of preserving green food was prac- 
ticed quite commonly throughout northern Europe at an early date. 

To August e Goffart belongs the honor of publishing in 1879 one of 
the first books on the subject of silos and crops for the same. Though 
not the originator of the silo, his twenty-five years of study and 
experiment firmly established its value. The attention of American 
farmers was called to this subject through the translation of Goff art's 
work in 1879, and also through the publication of a book by J. M. 
Bailey in 1880. 


Silos first began to be constructed in the United States about thirty 
years ago. The wonderful progress the silo has made is evidenced by 
the fact that the number now in existence is variously estimated at 
from three hundred thousand to half a million. It has been used with 
more or less success in practically every State in the Union, and is a 
recognized institution in sections where live-stock interests predom- 

While the process of ensiling is thus very old, a correct knowledge 
of silo construction and the production and preservation of crops in 
an economical manner is a matter of comparatively recent investiga- 
tion and development. It is safe to say that their construction and 
the utilization of silage as a food for live stock in the South is still in 
its infancy, for, comparatively speaking, only a very few farmers are 
using silage to-day. It is, however, clearly recognized as one of the 
most economical and satisfactory feed stuffs obtainable, and the 
comparative cheapness with which silos can be constructed and the 
necessity of producing every tiling raised on the farm in the most 
economical manner insure its wide popularity in the years to come. 



The progress made in .silo construction in the past few years is little 
short of marvelous, Goffart's first silo was a shallow rectangular 
structure 1G.4 by 39.4 feet by 16.4 feet in height. All the early silos 
constructed ill this country were patterned alter his. At that time it 
Was thought necessary to Weight the silage very heavily in order to 
preserve it, and as no convenient means of hoisting were available 
the structures Were all shallow. A little later square or rectangular 
silos constructed in the bays of barns came into favor. Very heavy 
timbers were used, but in spite of this fact the walls would often 
spring and allow air to get in. Thus a part of the silage was lost 
from decay. As no ventilation was provided for, these silos were of 
necessity short lived. These disastrous experiences taught many 
useful lessons, resulting finally in the introduction of cylindrical 
silos. Farmers had also learned that a deep silo was a great advan- 
tage, and that the weighting so laboriously pursued in early years 
was unnecessary. 

The round silo has come into general use for obvious reasons, which 
are stated in detail farther on. It has solved many of the difficulties 
which proved stumbling blocks to the pioneer silo builders. It is now 
a comparatively simple matter to build a satisfactory round silo at 
moderate cost. 


As to the cost of silage, a fair average would be about S1.5C per 
ton, though some say SI and others $2. The cost depends a good deal 
on the management. Under favorable conditions it can certainly be 
made from corn or corn and sorghum at a cost of $1 per ton. As to 
the yields that can be anticipated, with corn they are placed at from 
5 to 12 tons per acre, with sorghum from 12 to 18 tons. These yields 
approximate those obtained at the Tennessee Experiment Station. 460 
In fact, it is remarkable how closely the yields of these crops and the 
cost of producing them, together with the value of silage for the dif- 
ferent classes of animals, as advocated by this station, coincide with 
the experience of farmers at widely separated points in the State. 


As to the value of silage, most farmers who have had experience 
with it regard it as indispensable. Mr. P. F. Kei'auver, of Madison- 
ville, Tenn., says that an acre of corn in silage is equal to 5 acres of 
blue-grass pasture. Mr. Frank Duff, of Rogersville, Tenn., says that 
it increases the value of the corn crop by 33 per cent, as compared 
with feeding the corn and stover separately. Mr. S. E. Young, of 
Sweetwater, Tenn., who has a 100-ton silo, says that it is worth $50 
a year to him, and Mr. S. P. White, of Pulaski, who has a 350-ton 

a The small figures refer to the list of references at the end of this paper. 

silo, that it is worth $200 a year to him. Mr. George S. Timmons, 
of Jefferson City, Term., says that 25 acres of silage is equal to 75 
acres of good grass. Mr. W. G. Lenoir, of Philadelphia, says that a 
silo doubles the feeding value of the crop grown on the land. Col. 
A. D. Reynolds, of Bristol, Tenn., says that silage increases the car- 
rying capacity of the land by one-third. These statements, coming 
from men in various sections of Tennessee, should convince every rea- 
sonable man of the great importance of the silo to him. Do not hesi- 
tate to build a silo. It has stood the test of time and won on its merits. 
The silo is simply indispensable to the average southern farmer. 

As to the feeding value of silage for beef cattle, it is only necessary 
to say that at the Tennessee Experiment Station four head have been 
maintained for one hundred and fifty days on the silage produced on 
0.91 acre of land. To feed four animals on corn stover for the same 
time required the crop raised on 2 acres of land, to feed them on sor- 
ghum fodder the crop grown on 0.93 acre of land, and on Kafir corn 
the crop produced on 2.5 acres. The cattle receiving silage gained 
887 pounds, or 1.40 pounds each per day; the cattle receiving stover 
gained 582 pounds, or 0.97 pound each per day; the cattle receiving 
sorghum fodder 692 pounds, or 1.15 pounds each per day; and the 
cattle receiving Kafir corn 624 pounds, or 1.04 pounds each per day. 
These cattle all received the same meal ration and the same care and 

For the cheap maintenance of dairy cows the silo is unsurpassed. 
By the use of silage in conjunction with alfalfa or cowpea hay and 
cottonseed meal it has been possible to produce a pound of butter 
and a gallon of milk at a feed cost of 10.4 and 5.7 cents respectively. 
Thus the silo insures the cheap production of milk and butter all 
over the South. It makes it safe to feed cottonseed meal both to 
beef and dairy cattle for long periods, and it also enables the utiliza- 
tion of the rich hays produced from a great variety of leguminous 
crops to replace bran and other expensive concentrates in rations 
for beef and dairy cattle. 

To show the relative yield of silage as compared with shocked sor- • 
ghum and corn stover the following table has been prepared: 

Silage versus dry feed. 



Soil prepa- 
ration and 
per acre. 

per acre. 



Corn and sorghum 

Soy beans 

Shocked sorghum . 
Corn stover 

10. 6(5 

$10. 30 
i 3. 19 

Total cost 
per acre. 



IS. 94 
i R 72 





Cost per 


1 One-third cost charged to stover. 

This table gives the average results of growing these crops for sev- 
eral years. It BHOWB that silage can be made for considerably less 
from BOrghum than from corn, and that a much larger yield may be 
anticipated. Soy beans by themselves for Bilage did not prove very 

satisfactory, as cattle do not eat it with relish. Coin and sorghum 
make a greater yield at Less cost than coin alone, and the combination 
improves the feeding value and the keeping quality of the silage. 

There was not so much difference in the cost of a ion of silage as 
compared with the cost of a ton of shocked sorghum and corn st<>\ ner 
as would naturally be expected, but there was a decided difference in 
the feeding value of the two, as shown by the results quoted above. 
Considering the relative yields and the cost of the sorghum silage as 
compared with corn stover, and basing its feeding value on the results 
shown above, there was a difference of 593 pounds of beef per acre in 
favor of the sorghum silage as compared with sorghum fodder, and a 
difference of 521 pounds of beef per acre in favor of corn silage as 
compared with corn stover. These very surprising facts fully sub- 
stantiate the claims made for silage by practical feeders, and there 
can no longer be any reason for doubting the utility of the silo on the 
average farm where stock raising is a matter of any importance. 


Who should have a silo? Every farmer who is interested in the 
feeding and maintenance of live stock should have a silo. Silage is 
not as satisfactory for horses and mules as for beef and dairy cattle 
and sheep, but if fed judiciously and in conjunction with pea hay it 
will be found a great advantage and will lessen the cost of the ration. 

Many farmers who have undertaken stock farming have given it 
up in disgust because, they said, there was no money in it. The diffi- 
culty frequently has been that the cost of the foods utilized was out 
of proportion to the sale price of the animals. This was due to two 
things: (1) The feed stuffs w r ere not well cured and handled, and (2) 
the cattle were not " finished," and hence did not bring the highest 
market price. 

It is needless to say that the silo is not a panacea for all ills, but at 
the same time it would have smoothed the pathway of many a stock 
feeder and reduced the outlay for feed, resulting in more satisfactory 
gains, a better finish to his animals, and consequently larger profits. 

A silo may be built at any convenient time from early spring until 
the first of August. If early-maturing varieties of corn are used the 
crop will be ready for the silo by August 15 to September 1, and it 
is well to have the structure completed some weeks before it is to be 
used, so it may become thoroughly seasoned. Any defects can then 
be remedied and the inside coated with hot coal tar, which is the hot 
and simplest preservative to use. 

The method of construction followed will he governed hy many con- 
dil ions, and so an endeavor will he made to discuss briefly some of the 
types of silos now commonly in use and which are regarded with the 
greatest favor for the benefit of those who contemplate building at 
an early date. One reason why the silo has not made greater progress 
is due to the unfortunate experience of many who built silos some 
years ago when comparatively little was known about them. Natu- 
rally many structural mistakes were made. As the silos were not 
properly ventilated they decayed very rapidly. The style of con- 
struction followed was expensive and not adapted to our climatic 
conditions. With the information available at the present time 
there is no reason why these structural errors should be repeated, and 
those who may contemplate building should not be deterred from 
doing so through the belief that a good silo is an expensive luxury 
and must be rebuilt every few years. 


This subject will be presented with the aid of a series of view r s 
showing various crops used for silage and the implements and methods 
used in their culture and handling. 


This is a general view of the silage and forage experiments 
on the grounds of the Tennessee Experiment Station. 

Types of plows that may be appropriately used in working 
the land for silage crops. Fall plowing is preferable when the 
land does not wash, in order that the freezing in winter may 
pulverize and break down the soil. As corn is a gross feeding 
plant, the ground should be broken deeply, and on clay subsoils 
or those in which a hardpan tends to form the subsoiler should 
be used. Subsoiling is best done in the fall, as there is less 
danger of puddling the land at this season. 

On the left of the photograph is shown the disk plow. This 
is a very excellent plow and can be used to advantage on weedy 
land free of stones. 

The plow in the center is the ordinary turning plow. Either 
plow can be used to advantage in breaking land intended for 
silage crops. 

The other plow shown is a subsoiler intended to follow the 
turning plow. 

A piece of ground in very bad mechanical condition. This 
land was plowed when too wet and then allowed to dry out. 
It would be almost impossible to get it in satisfactory condition 
for a crop until after a heavy rainfall. In many sections of the 



country tin 4 land is poor through constant cropping and breaks 
up in a condition similar to that shown in the photograph. 
This difficulty can be overcome by plowing under a crop of red 
or crimson clover or cowpeas, soy beans or velvet beans. 

4 Late in September or early October cowpeas may be plowed 
under to provide for the corn crop the following year and 
improve the mechanical condition of the soil. When the vines 
are very rank it is sometimes advisable to run a disk harrow 
over them before attempting to plow them under. 

5 Mention has already been made of the enormous root system 
of corn. This illustration shows two corn plants that were 
grown in a nail keg containing pure sand. They were only 
six weeks old when the keg was removed and the earth washed 
away from the roots. Observe the great mass of roots, which 
furnish the only evidence needed to show the necessity of the 
deep and thorough preparation of the land intended for silage 
crops and the importance of shallow culture so as not to injure 
the roots, which approach very close to the surface. 

6 A 2-horse corn planter is a favorite implement for seeding 
the crop. On smaller farms a 1-horse planter can be used to 
advantage. It is not advisable, as a rule, to check corn intended 
for silage. It is better to plant it in rows 3J to 4} feet apart, 
depending on the variety, and about 1 foot apart in the row. 
A 2-horse planter will enable the farmer to seed corn and sor- 
ghum or corn and cowpeas together by using suitable plates in 
each box and doubling back over the rows. 

7 After the corn has been planted and in the case of dry 
weather the ground should be run over with a weeder to pre- 
serve a dust mulch and destroy young weeds. The weeder 
may be used for the first three or four cultivations of the corn 
until from 4 to 6 inches high, depending on the season, which 
will determine the rate of growth made by the crop. These 
remarks apply to the old style of nonadjustable weeders. 
The adjustable machines can be used later with satisfaction. 

8 A 2-horse cultivator is one of the best implements for use in 

9 The yield obtained from a field planted in corn or sorghum 
for silage will depend considerably on the stand obtained. A 
uniform stand is a very important matter; therefore it is neces- 
sary to sow only good seed. The illustration shows how to test 
the seed in a simple manner. Take 100 grains of corn selected 
from different parts of several ears and place them on a sheet 


of blotting paper. Fold the blotting paper over the top, and 
place in an ordinary cigar box which has been lined with sev- 
eral moist newspapers. Close the lid of the cigar box and 
allow to stand in the living room at a temperature of 60° to 
80° F. for three or four days. On examination the percentage 
of terminable seeds can be quickly ascertained, and in plant- 
ing allowance be made for the same. 

Notice the relative length of the stalk from these grains of 10 
corn, which shows that some grains have greater vitality than 
others, emphasizing the importance of testing not only the seed 
corn in a general way, but the seed from different ears. 

Ears of corn showing imperfectly formed grains. It is 11 
important that the grain used be as nearly even in size and 
shape as possible, so that a perfect stand may be obtained; not 
too thick in some places and too thin in others. 

Ears of Hickory King corn, an excellent variety for use on 12 
thin soils or where an early maturing variety is needed. 

Cocke Prolific corn, a good variety for soils of medium fer- 13 
tility. This variety generally produces two ears per stalk, the 
pairs shown being typical of the variety. 

Ears of Huffman corn. One of the best varieties of white 14 
dent corn grown anywhere. This variety was improved and 
developed by Mr. E. S. Huffman, of Normandy, Tenn. It is 
adapted only to river bottoms of very rich land, but the growth 
of stalk is very large. 

Some leading varieties of corn that may be used to advantage 15 
for silage: Hickory King, Champion White Pearl, Early 
Learning, Iowa Gold Mine, Iowa Silver Mine, 100-day Bristol, 
and Klondyke. Read from left to right. 

The size of the stalk varies greatly with the variety. Some 16 
stalks are more than twice as large as others and this is often a 
great disadvantage, as the ears are hard to harvest and so high 
as to cause the stalks to break down. A smaller, leafier stalk, 
which can be obtained through careful selection, will not 
decrease the yield of corn obtained, but will facilitate the 
handling and shredding of the crop and improve the quality of 
the feed. Reading from left to right the varieties are as follows : 
Iowa Gold Mine, 100-day Bristol, Improved Learning, Hickory 
King, Golden Beauty, Virginia Ensilage, Cocke Prolific, Huff- 
man, Shaw Improved, and Mexican June. 

Tins photograph shows from one to four ears growing on 17 
stalks of Cocke Prolific corn. 
50665°— 12 2 



18 The importance of selecting corn so as to secure a uniform 

type for planting La well brought out in the picture, which shows 
the variation in the size and shape of ears of Cocke Prolific, a 
well-established variety. 

1<) The distance apart of planting corn and sorghum and the 

proportion in Which they arc mixed have B decided influence 

on the yield obtained from an acre of land. Experiments 

Were made at the Tennessee Station to determine the influence 

of distance of planting on the yield, as follows: Corn and cow- 
peas in rows 'A feet apart, yield S.3 tons; cost of a ton of silage 
placed in the silo, $2.00. 

20 Sorghum and cowpeas, rows 3) feet, yield 15 tons; cost per 

ton, $1.21. 

21 Sorghum and cowpeas, rows 2 feet apart, yield 19.8 tons; 
cost per ton, $1.15. 

22 Corn, sorghum, and cowpeas, rows 2 feet apart, yield 12.5 
tons; cost per ton, $2.09. The mixture consisted of 51 per 
cent of corn, 33.9 per cent of sorghum, and 15.1 per cent of cow- 
peas. This was the largest percentage of peas ever obtained 
where corn and peas, sorghum and peas, or corn, sorghum, and 
peas were grown together. In most instances there was not 
over 5 per cent of peas in the mixture, an amount so small as 
to have no appreciable effect on the feeding value of silage. 
Corn and sorghum produced silage of superior quality, the 
two blending splendidly, and if suitable varieties are chosen 
the}' will mature at about the same time. Red Head sorghum 
and Virginia ensilage corn can often be grown together to 
advantage. In order to obtain a mixture in about the right 
proportion sow from 10 to 12 pounds of corn with 6 to 8 pounds 
of sorghum. The crop may be put down in the same drill row 
by filling one hopper with corn and one with sorghum, dou- 
bling back over the rows. Our experience has not indicated 
that there was much difference in the feeding value of the silage 
made from these several crops and crop combinations, and the 
attempt to increase the protein content of the silage through 
the incorporation of cowpeas can not be regarded as a success 
in the light of these facts. 

2»5 Cutting sorghum for silage on the grounds of the Tennessee 

Experiment Station. The land is a red cla} r upland and the 
yield obtained was 14 tons per acre 1 , at a cost of $1.59 per ton. 

24 The advisability of growing some leguminous crop to mix 

with corn or sorghum for silage so as to balance up the food 
has often been suggested. One of the greatest difficult ies 
encountered has been to find a machine that would cut the 



crop satisf actorily and leave it in condition to handle with ease 
and expedition. The photograph shows the Mammoth Yellow 
soy beans cut and bound in sheaves with the corn harvester. 
An ordinary binder will do as well. This crop made a yield of 
9.68 tons per acre, but it cost $2.20 per ton, and did not make a 
very satisfactory quality of silage. 

There is nothing better than an ordinary truck wagon for the 25 
handling of silage crops. It is low to the ground, so that the 
heavy green feed can be loaded with comparative ease, and a 
vers' large load can be drawn if broad tires are used. 

A field of cowpeas. As already mentioned, the percentage of 26 
peas obtained when sown with corn and sorghum is so small as 
to have practically no influence on the composition of the crop. 
Judging from the experience of the Tennessee Station, it would 
be better to sow the cowpeas by themselves and cure as hay 
and feed, in conjunction with the corn or sorghum silage. If 
an attempt is made to run them in the silo with corn and sor- 
ghum, they should be planted in drills 2 \ to 3 feet apart, cut 
with the mower, and raked up into windrows. 

There is a great difference in the climbing ability of various 27 
varieties of cowpeas, as shown by the illustration. Reading 
from left to right, the varieties of peas are as follows: Whip- 
poorwill, Clay, Taylor, Wonderful, Black, and Lady. The 
Lady and Whippoorwill are the two best climbers found so 
far. The photograph shows typical specimens selected from 
field areas. 

Velvet beans climbing on corn. The velvet bean makes a 28 
fine showing on corn, but it is so watery that when cut it 
withers away to practically nothing. 


The next three slides (29, 30, and 31 ) show the results of sub- 29 
stituting alfalfa hay for wheat bran and cottonseed meal in a 
ration for dairy cows. The results of a previous test, where 
cowpea hay was used in place of alfalfa, were almost identical. 
The fact that these substitutes were made was largely due, in 
the writer's opinion, to the use of silage, which is such an excel- 
lent companion food for dry hay when fed in a finely chopped 
condition. The fact that alfalfa or pea hay, which the farmer 
can make at a cost of $3 to $5 per ton, can be substituted for 
wheat bran, which costs $20 to $25 a ton, is a matter of the 
greatest importance to the dairyman. These hays can be sub-j 

Btiftuted to B certain extent for cottonseed meal, but not w it h 
the peine Bucceee as fur wheat bran. This slide shows the 
relative proportion of silage, wheat bran, and cottonseed 
meal fed to group 1, which produced a pound of butter for 
12.3 cents and a gallon of milk for 7.1 cent-. 

30 This slide shows the relative proportion of silage, alfalfa hay, 
and cottonseed meal fed to group 2, which produced a pound 
of butter for 10.4 cents and a gallon of milk for 5.7 cents. 
Alfalfa or pea hay may he substituted with satisfaction for 
wheat bran. 

31 This slide Bhows the relative proportion of silage, alfalfa 
hay, and wheat bran fed to group 3, which produced a gallon 
of milk for 8.2 cents and a pound of butter for 15.3 cents. 

32 Part of the Tennessee station herd of dairy cows. These 
cows have been maintained for the last three years largely on 
silage and meal. The concentrates used consisted of bran, corn 
meal, and cottonseed meal. In some instances the grain was 
mixed in the proportion of 6 pounds bran to 4 pounds cotton- 
seed meal; in others, about one-third of each food stulf was 
used; and for the last year or more, one half corn-and-cob 
meal and one-half cottonseed meal was used with bug 
The value of this mixture consists in the fact that the high 
protein content of the cottonseed meal offsets to a great extent 
the fattening and heating qualities of the corn. The meal was 
fed according to the individual needs of the cows. The general 
plan followed was to feed 10 pounds for each thousand pounds 
of live weight. The silage used was made from corn, corn and 
sorghum, and corn and sorghum and cowpeas. About 5 
pounds of hay and 30 pounds of sorghum were allowed each 
cow in the winter season, though silage as the sole roughne-s 
was fed with success throughout the year. 

For the year 1900 the herd made an average of 4,083 pounds 
of milk and 223 pounds of butter. In 1903 they produced 
6,371 pounds of milk and 363 pounds of butter, a gain of 2,2SS 
pounds of milk and 140 pounds of butter per cow per annum. 
The gross receipts for 1900 were 82,S00; for the year 1903 they 
were 84,900. Tins speaks volumes as to the value of silage for 
dairy cow-. 

33 Silage furnishes an admirable roughness for beef cattle, 
along with cottonseed meal and corn-and-cob meal. Thirty- 
two head of cattle fed on the station farm in the winters of 1900, 
1902, and 1903 made an average gain of 2.16 pounds per head 
per day for the feeding period of 150 days. These cattle never 
received more than 30 pounds of silage, 5 pounds of clover hay. 
and between 10 and 12 pounds of mixed meal consisting <»f 



about equal parts corn-and-cob meal and cottonseed meal per 
day. This illustration shows a group of Hereford steers before 

The same group of Hereford grade steers after feeding for 34 
150 days on a ration of 30 pounds silage, 5 pounds clover hay, 
and 10 pounds of cottonseed meal; average gain per day, 
2.19 pounds. The meat was of the finest quality and was not 
unduly fat. Silage, when fed with from 5 to 10 pounds of 
clover, alfalfa, or cowpea hay, and cottonseed meal and corn- 
and-cob meal, furnishes an ideal ration for beef production. 

This is a photograph of a Hereford steer fed for 190 days 35 
on a ration of 30 pounds of silage, 5 pounds of clover hay, 
and 10 pounds of cottonseed meal. This animal gained 2.19 
pounds per day for the entire period, and dressed out 62.8 per 
cent of the live weight. The meal ration commenced with 4 
pounds, and was gradually increased to 10 pounds as the feed- 
ing period advanced. The succulent nature of the ration 
explains why such a heavy ration of cottonseed meal was fed 
for so long a period with perfect success. 

Photograph of a cutting and elevating machine. This 36 
machine has both cutting and shredding knives. It will handle 
eleven or more tons of silage per hour if it can be gotten to the 
machine. The blower elevates the silage and distributes it uni- 
formly over the silo, so that the labor of filling is greatly reduced 
thereby. This is but one of the several excellent types of 
machines on the market. 

This photograph shows the cutting and shredding knives. 37 
Our experience indicates that it is better to use one cutting 
knife and one shredding knife. 



Some of the requisites of any silo may be stated as follows : 
(1) It must be perfectly air-tight or the loss resulting will be very 
great; (2) the walls must be rigid, and (3) the inner surface must 
be smooth and uniform, so as to facilitate the rapid settling of 
the silage. The stave silo has all of these qualities if properly 
constructed, and it has the great advantage of drying out quickly 
as soon as emptied; hence it is not so likely to decay as the silo 
with walls composed of several layers of lumber. In spite of 
all that can be done moisture will accumulate between the 
layers, and as they dry out slowly, particularly so in the South, 
where the winter climate is of a humid nature, they decay 
very rapidly. Besides, it is generally agreed that the loss in 
the average silo, even of the best construction, is 10 to 12 per 


cent. In a properly constructed stave silo there is no reason 
why it should exceed tins amount, and as freezing Is not an 
item to be considered no objection can he urged against the 
stave silo on thai account. According to statements furnished 
the writer a stave silo with a capacity of 50 to 150 tons can be 
erected on a good many southern farms at a cost of from | 
to s 100 where other types would cost two or three times the 
amount. It was worth far more to the farmer to have the 
stave silo rather than to do without one for the sake of build- 
Kng a more expensive and what has generally been held to be 
a more permanent structure. There is no question as to their 
permanency if properly built. 


The location of the silo will depend largely on the character 
of stock to be fed. It is not always an advantage to build the 
silo on the inside of the barn. In a dairy barn it is better to 
have it on the outside, though joined directly to it. By 
keeping closed the door leading to the barn, the odor of the 
silage can be kept out of the stable and prevented from getting 
into the milk. It is as easy to distribute the silage by means 
of a car to two rows of cattle when located just outside the 
barn as when built in the corner of the bam. In a beef-cattle 
barn the odor would not count for anything, and if a large 
number of animals are to be fed it is well to locate the silo in 
the center of a shed-like structure, which can be utilized with 
economy in the winter feeding of beef cattle. The great 
advantage of building the silo outside the barn is due to the 
fact that the round silo is the preferable type to use. When 
one is building a barn it is a different problem, as a round silo 
can often be located in the center to advantage, whereas, after 
the barn is erected, it could not be built except with an un- 
necessary outlay of labor and expense. Unless the barn is a 
round one it is best to build the silo at one end of the barn. 


Several kinds of silos may be constructed. The round silo 
is in favor at the present time, and owing to its many advan- 
tages should be given preference over other types. The 
round silo is preferable because there are no angles to cut off, 
each hoop acts as a brace, and there is no trouble with spring- 
ing walls which permit the air to enter and cause the silage to 
spoil for several inches around the outside. Then the round 
silo docs not require so much lumber, and some types of it are 
very simple of construction. The cost is also less in propor- 
tion to the capacity than with the other types. Less difficulty 


seems to be experienced in the preservation of silage in the 
round than in the square silos, owing to the rigidity of the 
walls and the fact that the silage can be packed around the 
walls with less effort. 

There are several kinds of round silos in common use, which 
may be described as the stave or tub silo, the modified round 
silo, and the Wisconsin round silo, so called because the first 
one constructed in America was built at the Wisconsin Experi- 
ment Station. The most expensive of these is the Wisconsin 
round silo, and the least expensive the stave or tub silo, which 
is constructed very much after the method of an ordinary rail- 
road water tank. There was strong opposition to the stave 
silo at one time, based on the belief that when full it would 
swell and burst the iron bands supporting it and that when 
empty it would shrink and collapse. Some difficulty was 
experienced with the first silos erected, because the method 
of construction was not understood. It is now believed that 
the stave silo is an excellent type to build, and it has many 
advantages which should receive careful consideration. 

Model of a cheap form of stave silo with weatherboarded roof. 38 
This silo was constructed on the farm of Mr. W. T. Roberts, 
of Riceville, Tenn., at a cost of $60. The capacity is approxi- 
mately 110 tons. The material used in the construction was 
2,800 feet of Georgia hard pine, 2 by 4 by 12's, which cost $28; 
excavating the foundation and sawing and setting up staves, 
$12; iron hoops made in two pieces with adjustable lugs, $20. 
No nails were used to hold the staves in place, and the founda- 
tion is simply dug down to hardpan, and boards used in the 
place of more expensive brick or stone. This is probably the 
cheapest form of silo that can be built. The staves are joined 
together by sawing notches in the end and inserting heavy 
pieces of galvanized iron, after which the staves are toe-nailed 
together. Mr. Roberts says that he has been using this silo for 
ten years with perfect satisfaction; that there is no evidence of 
decay, and that if he were going to build one hundred silos he 
would build them all like the model shown in preference to the 
much more expensive types. 

Another model of round silo constructed of beveled tongued- 39 
and-grooved staves. This is the most expensive type of stave 


After selecting a suitable site, excavate the ground to the 
depth of about 2 feet for the foundation. The foundation may 
be made of concrete, brick, or stone. If of stone, a wall 15 inches 
in thickness will be most convenient to build; if of brick, 1 foot 
would be sufficient unless the silo is very large and high, when 




it might appropriately be made 15 or 18 inches. The founda- 
tion may be prevented from springing by laying curved pi< 
of iron in ihc wall. The concrete foundation will often 1" 

cheap and more lasting and satisfactory in every way than any 

other type that can be used. There is not bo much difference 

between the cost of the several forms of foundations as one 
would suppose. The floor may be cemented or made of tamped 
earth. This is entirely a matter of choice so far as the preser- 
vation of the silage is concerned. Many farmers prefer dirt to 
cement when it becomes well packed. Of course, a cement 
floor will keep out rats and can be constructed cheaply and very 
simply by putting down a groundwork of crushed stones to the 
depth of 3 to 5 inches, over which a mixture made of one part 
cement and three parts of sand is poured. After this hardens 
a 2-inch coating made of one part of cement and two parts of 
clean, bright sand should be laid down. 

40 The foundation of the stave silo may be made by cutting 2 
by 4's in 2-foot lengths at an angle which approximates the 
radius. Two pieces of 2 by 4's should be spiked together to 
break joints all the way around. To hold the foundation in 
place, iron bolts provided with taps and threads are sometimes 
set in the wall, though later methods favor bedding in cement, 
which holds it firm. The foundation should be flush with the 
inside so as not to leave a shoulder jutting out, which prevents 
the rapid settling of the silage. 


41 The staves used in the construction of the silo may be rough, 
planed on the inside and on the edges, dressed on all sides, or 
dressed, tongued, grooved, and beveled, as shown in this 
illustration. It is next advisable to set up four to six 4 by 6's, 
depending on the diameter of the silo, at equal distances 
around the circumference. These should be securely toe-nailed 
to the foundation and plumbed and held rigidly in place by 
temporary braces. Before erecting these 4 by 6's, holes should 
be bored through them for the insertion of f-inch round irons 
threaded for a considerable distance on either end. For a silo 
1 5 feet in diameter the hoops might appropriately be three in 
number and 19 feet long. The hoops should be passed through 
the 4 by () uprights and secured by heavy washers and nuts. 
The long thread on the hoop permits the ready adjustment of 
the staves according to whether the silo is full or empty. The 
bottom hoop should be placed about 6 inches from the base of 
the silo, the second 1 foot above the first, increasing the dis- 
tance 6 inches each time until a distance of about :>.\ to 4 feet 



has been attained . When the hoops are in place commence set- 
ting up the 2 by 6 inch staves, which in this instance will be 34 
feet long. Place the first one next to a 4 by 6 upright and 
plumb it and make secure, driving two 20-pcnny nails through 
the staves and bending them over each hoop. 

Another form of tightening commonly used in connection 
with the stave silo is made of two pieces of iron about 6 inches 
long, with holes through either end just large enough for the 
hoops to pass through. Where the hoops meet they are passed 
through two consecutive tighteners placed about 1 foot apart, 
making it a simple matter to adjust the staves at will by means 
of the tap and lock nut which holds the hoop. Quite recently 
oak strips 1 inch thick and 2 to 4 inches wide have been substi- 
tuted for the iron hoops and have proven very satisfactory. 
They should be put on the same distance apart as the iron 
hoops, and they are generally made of three-piece thickness of 
wood arranged so as to break joints and securely nailed to each 
stave. Wherever joints are broken they should come behind 
one of the bands. As these bands can often be sawed out of 
timber available on the farm and no tighteners are required, 
they can be utilized to advantage, and, so far as recorded, silos 
built in this manner, if securely nailed, are entirely satisfactory. 
One of the reasons why so many farmers fail in the construc- 
tion of silos is because they do not use enough nails or large 
enough nails. This matter can not be emphasized too strongly. 
Round silos are sometimes built by cutting in 2 by 4's between 
the uprights, and running the lining up and down. A number 
of silos constructed after this method that have come under 
the writer's observation are lined with but a single layer of 
1 by 3 inch flooring, and though in use for a number of years 
they still are eminently satisfactory. 

In the construction of a stave silo over 20 feet in height it 42 
often becomes necessary to splice the staves. This may be 
done by sawing into the ends of the staves and inserting a piece 
of galvanized iron and toe-nailing the staves together. Joints 
should be broken when the staves are set up. Another method 
of jointing the staves is to lap them, and spike together and 
rivet securely. 

This illustration shows a piece of iron rod with the ends 43 
reversed, which is often laid in the foundation to prevent the 
walls from spreading. It also shows some 20-penny nails which 
are frequently used to drive through the staves and to rivet 
over the hoops to keep the silo rigid. The screws shown are 
lag screws used to hold the doors in place in a silo of large 
diameter. The threaded bolts and iron supports provide one of 



the best methods of tightening and loosening the staves, as the 

exigencies of the situation may make advisable. 

All stave silos are built on the same principle, though there 
arc many points of difference. The stares may be eitherrough, 
dressed on both side^. beveled, or "tongued and grooved." In 
a silo of small diameter 2 by 1's are more satisfactory than 2 by 
»■>">. Those who have had experience with the more expensive 
tongued and grooved silos do not favor their use, though many 

agree that the inside of the staves should he planed, as it pro- 

vides a smoother surface and the silage settles better. 

The inside of the silo should be thoroughly coated with hot 
coal tar as a preservative, and the outside may be painted if 
deemed advisable. As a matter of preservation it is a wise 

precaution and a good investment as a rule. The construction 
of neat and harmonious buildings on the farm is a matter 
worthy of consideration. 

44 This slide shows the framework and general construction of a 
Wisconsin type of round silo or a modified type of the same. 

45 This slide shows several kinds of lining for silos. Five- 
eighths or seven-eighths inch tongued and grooved flooring is 
often used to line square silos and sometimes round silos of 
large diameter. Two by six inch stuff is often ripped into four 
pieces to make a double lining for round silos; J-inch material 
laid crosswise with acid-proof paper between, which constitutes 
the hning for the majority of round silos; 1-inch flooring 
laid at right angles with tarred paper between, which is often 
used in the square silo to secure the walls and give sufficient 
strength to prevent springing. The hning of the round silo 
of large diameter is often made of one layer of matched floor- 
ing, though sometimes two layers are used with tarred paper 
between, the second layer being run up and down. 


4:6 Type of door constructed of 1-inch flooring laid so as to break 

joints, appropriate for round silos. This door is held in place 
on the inside by lag screws. A sheet of acid-proof paper should 
be placed over the door before it is placed in position. In a 
24-foot silo there should be about three doors, placed about 6 
feet apart. The doors should be about 2S inches long in order 
to come between the hoops. They should be cut to a level of 
about 45 inches, sloping to the inside. The doors should be 
about 24 to 30 inches wide. The staves above and below the 
door should be held in position by hardwood dowel pins, and 
the doors should then be fastened together bv two curved bat- 



tens run across the outside. When the door is put in position 
tarred paper should be placed over the edges to exclude the air. 


While a roof is not absolutely necessary, one can be so 
cheaply built that it is a desirable addition to the silo. For a 
stave silo built outside the barn the roof may be constructed by 
spiking pieces of 3 by 4's or 2 by 6's to the top of the staves. 
Two of these pieces should be 2 feet long and two of them 4 feet 
long, so as to give the desired slope to the roof. When they are 
spiked in position crosspieces should be fastened to the top. 
A battened board roof can then be quickly and cheaply made. 
Many other forms of roof can, of course, be utilized. 

This slide shows the construction of a silo in which metal 47 
laths are used with a cement plaster, consisting of one part of 
sand and two parts of high-grade Portland cement. 

Model of a round silo, showing framework and a continuous 48 
door. The plan is to line tins silo with metal lath and plaster 
with cement on both the inside and outside. 


The silo is an institution of special importance to southern 
farmers for the following reasons: 

(1) In many sections of the South tame grasses do not grow 
well, whereas heavy yields of corn and sorghum can be made 
and preserved in a silo, insuring succulent food throughout the 

(2) The silo provides a cheap means of tiding over drought 
periods, which occur practically every year. 

(3) It permits the winter feeding and maintenance of large 
numbers of live stock economically. 

(4) It increases the carrying capacity of the land to a marked 

(5) Owing to the rainy winter season fodder crops left in the 
field suffer a severe loss from leaching. This can be avoided by 
preserving the food in silos. 

(6) The mild winters also make possible the feeding of silage 
to advantage, for it rarely, if ever, freezes. 

(7) Silage combines with cotton-seed meal to the best advan- 
tage in feeding both to beef and dairy cattle. 

(8) Silage may be used in place of soiling crops for summer 
feeding, thus lessening both cost and labor. 

(9) The variety of crops adapted for silage making in the 
South insures good yields even in the most adverse seasons. 



No. of 

1. General view of the silage and forage experiment of the Tennessee Experiment 


2. Types of plows for use in preparing land for silage crops. 

3« Ground in bad mechanical condition. 

4« Plowing under cowpeas for soil improvement. 

5* Root system of the corn plant . 

6* Two-horse corn planter. 


7. Preserving dust mulch by use of weeder. 


8. A two-horse cultivator. 

9» Testing the vitality of seed corn. 

Germination tests with corn. 

age of 

Kind of grains use< 1 . germina- 

tion in 
~2 hours. 

Golden Beauty Sample bought 

Early Mastodon do 

Learning do 

Snow-white Dent do 94 

Blount Prolific do 98 

Cocke Prolific Tip grains 74 

Do Butt grains 53 

Huffman Ideal grains ,. j 92 

Shaw Improved Soft corn 86 

Huffman ! Flint corn 95 

Cocke Prolific ; Deformed grains 27 

No. of 

10. Comparative vigor of corn grains indicated by length of sprouts. 


11. Ears of corn, showing imperfectly formed grains. 




N"- ol Planter U$U fifty d 

I. Tliou/.-:. Mr wu shcllcl asd i-];mt("l. Times. 
■ ucl.s 4 

i kernel 30 


11. Only the tip and butt kernels were u 

No kernels 2 

1 kernel lfc 

ills 19 

3 kernels 8 

4 kernels 3 

III. < mly grains taken from the middle were a 

No kernels 10 

1 kernel 29 

M'ls 10 

.'{ kernels 1 

IV. Deep Krai lis only were i. 

No kernels 1 

1 kernel 44 

2 kernels 4 

:* kernels 1 

V. < »nly shallow grains were u-ed. 

No kernels 6 

1 kernel 39 

2 kernels 5 


12. Earn of Bickory King corn. 


13. Cocke Prolific corn. 


14. Huffman corn. 


15. Typos of varieties of corn. 

Hickory King; Champion White Pearl; Early Learning; Iowa Gold Mine; Iowa Silver Mine: 
One Hundred Day Bristol; Klondyke. (Read from left to right.) 


16. Varying sizes of the stalks of corn, as affected by the variety. 

Iowa Gold Mine; One Hundred Day Bristol; Improved Leamirg; Hickory King; Golden 
Beauty; Virginia Ensilage: Cocke Prolific; Huffman; Shaw Improved; Mexican June. (Read 
from left to right.) 


17. Cocke Prolific corn, showing from one to four ears to the stalk. 


18. Cocke Prolific corn, sin-wing variations in size and shapes of ears. 


19. Corn and eowpeas in rows 3 feet apart. 


20. Sorghum and eowpeas, rows :U feet apart. 


21. Sorghum and eowpeas, rows 2 feet apart. 

( Original. 

22. Corn, sorghum, and eowpeas, rows 2 feet apart. 

( hriginal. 
2.J. ('lining sorghum for silage with corn harvester. 
( Original. 

24. Culling soy beans with corn harvester. 

( hriginal. 

25. Low wagon lor handling silage crops. 


26. A field of eowpeas. 

27. Illustrates the climbing characteristic s of varieties of eowpeas. 

Whippoorwill; Clay; Taylor; Wonderful; Black; Lady. (Read from left to right.) 


No. of 

28. Velvet beans climbing on corn. 


29. Silage, wheat bran, and cottonseed meal. 

Produced a gallon of milk for 7.1 cents; a pound of butter for 12.3 cents. 

30. Silage, alfalfa hay, and cottonseed meal. 

Proportions for milch cows. Produced a gallon of milk for 5.7 cents; a pound of butter for 10.4 cents. 

31. Silage, alfalfa hay, and wheat bran. 

Produced a gallon of milk for 8.2 cents; a pound of butter for 15.3 cents. 

32. Herd of dairy cows maintained chiefly on silage as a roughness and a mixed meal 


Show an average gain per head between the years 1900-1903 of 2,288 pounds of milk and 140 pounds 
of butter. 


33. Hereford beef cattle before feeding on silage and cottonseed meal and corn- 

and-cob meal. 

34. The same cattle after feeding silage, cottonseed meal, and a little clover hay for 

150 days; gain over 2 pounds per day. 

35. Hereford steer fed 190 days on silage, clover hay, and cottonseed meal. 


36. View of silage cutter and shredder. 


37. Showing shredding knives. 


38. Cheap form of stave silo. 


39. Round silo constructed with beveled tongued-and-grooved staves. 


40. Foundation frame for stave silo. 


41. Illustrations of various methods of preparing staves for silo. 


42. Illustrations of method of splicing staves. 


43. Showing form of ironwork for stave silo. 


44. Framework of Wisconsin type of round silo. 


45. Lining for silos. 


46. Form of door for silo. 


47. Silo lined with lath and cemented. 


48. Round silo showing framework and continuous door and cemented on inside. 



Relative Value ok Various Forms of Silos. 

In order to throw some light on the subject of silos and silage a list of questions 
was sent out to a number of gentlemen who have been using silage in the feeding of 
live stock for many years past. These gentlemen have fed anywhere from 30 to 200 
cows each year and from 150 to 500 head of beef cattle. The capacity of their silos 
ranges from 50 to 500 tons. The silos reported on are square and rectangular, though 
a number are of the round type. The cost of these silos varied from $40 to $500. In 
the majority of instances the silos have been constructed at a cost of less than $1 per 
ton capacity. Many of them have now been in use for a number of years and are 
still reported to be in excellent condition, which shows that the silo, if properly con- 
structed, will last for a long time. A good many of these silos are built in the barn, 
and though many used building or acid-proof paper in the construction, the majority 
seem from their experience to regard it as unnecessary. Neither do floors seem to be 
in favor, as only in three instances are cement floors reported. The foundations are 
either of brick or stone, though several report building directly on the ground, and 
while a silo may last for a number of years when so constructed, this does not seem 
to be a wise policy. Most of the silos were built of seasoned pine, though oak was 
used in a few instances. Yellow pine seemed to be a favorite material. The stave 
silo is gaining in favor. The elaborate construction advocated by many, which adds 
so much to the cost of the silo, does not seem to have been followed in many cases, and 
yet the silage keeps in perfect condition and the silos are well preserved. 

It would thus appear that a silo can be constructed on the average southern farm 
at a reasonable cost, capacity considered, and that some of the simplified forms of 
construction seem to be quite as satisfactory as the more elaborate and expensive ones. 
This will be welcome information to many farmers who have been deterred from 
building a silo under the impression that it required the outlay of a large amount 
of money. A number of farmers seem to perfer a single thickness of pine flooring 
run up and down to split fencing with paper between. Where the stave silo has 
been used they do not believe it necessary, as a rule, to bevel and tongue and groove 
the staves. 

Computing Dimensions of Silo. 

The method of constructing a stave silo, briefly stated, is as follows: First, the 
capacity of the silo needed must be determined. Silage weighs from 30 to 60 pounds 
per cubic foot, depending on the depth of the silage and the condition of the crop 
when put up. A fair average is about 40 pounds per day, or 1 cubic foot. If 20 
cows are to be fed 180 days, about 75 tons of silage would be required, allowing for 
the spoiling of from 2 to 3 tons. This would require the construction of a silo 15 feet 
in diameter by 24 feet high. It is a very simple matter to calculate the cubic con- 
tents of a square silo, but it is a more difficult problem with the round silo. The 
capacity of a round silo 15 by 24 feet is determined as follows: The circumference of 
the silo is found by multiplying the diameter by 3.1416, which equals 47.1 feet. For 
every foot represented two 2 by 6 inch staves will be required, or 94 staves. In this 
case the staves would need to be 24 feet long. If the staves of this length can not be 
obtained and 16-foot staves are substituted, it would take 141. The feeding area of 
the silo would be the square of the diameter; that is 15 X 15, multiplied by 0.7854, 
or 176.7 square feet. This multiplied by 24, the height of the silo, gives the cubic 



capacity, or 1,210. s cubic feet. A silo of thii size would hold approximately 75 tons, 
provided the silage weighs 35 poundi per cubic foot, sufficienl to food 20 cows at the 
rate of lo pounds per day for over L80days. 

Approximate capacity of cylindrical silos, for well-natured com tilage, in tons. 

I feptfa of silo. 

Li diameter <>! 

>\\o ii 













•jo feel 
















To ll S. 
















1 52 

























21 feet 

22 feet 

23 AM 

_'i [eel 

28 feel 

26 feel . . . 

27 feet 


28 feet 

29 feet 


30 feet 

:: 1 :, 

31 feet... 

Directions for Constructing Modified Type op Round Silo. 

The modified typo of round silo is built as follows: The foundation ueed not be 
dwelt on, us that described for the round silo will be satisfactory in every n - 
Two by fours are commonly used for the framework of the modified round silo. They 
are generally set in the form of a circle, 15 inches from center to center, depending 
on the size of the silo. As it is often desirable to build a silo more than 30 feet high 
and it is a difficult matter to obtain 2 by 4*8 of thai Length, the scantlings are lapped 
2 or 3 feet and spiked securely together, or the ends an :' lo a depth of '1 or 1 

inches and a heavy piece of galvanized iron inserted and the two ends squared and 
securely toe-nailed together. When this practice becomes necessary it is generally 
advisable to use 20 to 10 foot pieces of scantling, reversing the staves as set up so as to 
break joints. When ii become ry in the construction of a stave silo by reason 

of the height to use two pieces of staves they are spliced o.gether by the last method 
Indicated. The plate of the round silo is constructed like the foundation described 
under the st ave silo. The lining of the round silo is made of 2 by (J inch fencing 
into four pieces. One-half of this should be dressed on one side and one-half on both 
sides, I'ommencing on the inside at the bottom the ' by 6 inch boards are securely 
nailed to each upright with two 8-ponny nails. A Layer of building paper is then put 
on and another layer of the $ by 6 inch material, taking care to break joints. The inside 
of the silo should be thoroughly painted with hot coal tar and the foundation securely 
embedded in cement, so as to exclude the air. A floor may be< onstructed, ifd< airable, 
and a round, saddle, or sloping roof utilized, as deemed advisable. When the silo is 
built in tin- barn a roof is unnecessary. !i is advisable to build a dormer window in the 
roof when- the round construction is followed, which permits of filling right to the top. 
In spite ,»f all that can be done the silage will Bettle to a considerable depth after it 
Btands. <>u the side where the doors are io be placed '.he studding should be set 
double and at the rfghl distance to give the desired width. Bay 2\ feet. The studs 
should I..- set between the two door spaces as if no doors were to be made, and the doors 
cut <>ut later. When 'he second stud i-- placed in position it is set out 1 inch, so as to 
form a jamb for thedoor, which is constructed of two layers of matched flooring held in 
position with Lag BCrews A chute for convenience in handling the feed is often con- 
structed over the doorways of the round silo, and the convenience afforded, cost con- 
sidered, will justify its construction. The silo just described lias no covering on the 


outside of the studding, and this is certainly unnecessary in the South. The outside 
may be appropriately painted for its protection or it may be boarded up, to improve 
the general appearance. When this is done openings should be left at the top and bot- 
tom on the outside to permit of the free circulation of the air between the silo walls. 
Wire nettings should be placed over these openings to keep out rats and mice. 

The type of silo just described is probably the most efficient, so far as the preserva- 
tion of silage is concerned, that can be utilized at a moderate cost, though many who 
have had experience with it do not regard it with greater favor than the cheaper 
stave silo and are opposed to the use of building paper, which adds considerably to 
the cost. 

Bill of material for stave silo, 14 feet diameter, 30 feet high above foundation; 5 doors. 
Estimated capacity, 100 tons. 







Cu. yds. 




Cu. yds. 



Finish , 






135 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 12 feet long, staves. 

135 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 18 feet long, staves. 

1 piece, 2 by 6 inches, 18 feet long door, cleats. 

9 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 12 feet long, rafters and curb. 
8 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 10 feet long, rafters and curb. 
300 feet B. M., 1 by 10 inch roof boards. 

3,000 shingles, or 3 squares 1 by 10, or 4 rolls 3-ply roofing paper. 
Hardware : 

12 rods | inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long. 

4 rods ^ inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long, ends upset. 

8 rods § inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long. 

4 rods f inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long, ends upset. 

8 rods | inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long. 

8 rods | inch diameter, 12 feet 3 inches long, ends upset. 

All rods (sections) to be curved to fit circle 14 feet in diameter. 

44 malleable iron lugs. 

88 nuts, two on each rod. 

1 iron strap ^ inch by 1J inches, 3 feet long, punched for 10 No. 12 wood screws. 

1 pair 8-inch galvanized iron T hinges and screws. 

4 anchor rods, § inch by 18 inches. 

4 bolts, f inch by 4 feet, with nuts and washers. 

100 bolts, ^ inch diameter, 4 inches long, with nuts and washers (doors). 

75 pounds fortypenny wire spikes. 

12 pounds tenpenny nails. 

10 pounds threepenny shingle nails, if shingles are used. 
10 wood screws, No. 12, H inches long. 

135 pieces No. 22 galvanized iron, 2 by 4 inches (spli< • 
Note. — Staves must be straight, straight grained, clear, well seasoned, lumber 
without sap, large or loose knots, waney edges or shakes, and must be dressed on one 
side and one edge. 

BUI for mot • nlo on metal lath, ttjatk Ham* tor, 90/eeL high abon foundation 

on 3-foot nail. Estimatal capacity, 7.j tons. 

Portland cement, 30 barn-is. 

Lime, 5 barrels. 

Band, 1 1 <-ul»i<- yard-. 

Broken stone, -ij cubic yards for concn 

Cow hair, 1 bushel. 

teel, (ii linear feci. | inch by 2 inehes. 
s« ft Bteel, 120 linear feet, \ inch round. 

Soft Bteel, 77>0 linear feet, | inch round. 
BB i' i gauge herringbone ingol ir«»n lath, L34 square yards. 
N<>. 7 triangle mesh reenforcement, 1,200 square feci. 
No. B galvanized wire, 50 pounds. 

Hound iron 4 feet long by $ inch wide, 19 pieces. 
Bolts, 10 inches by $ inch (common iron), 24. 
Bolts, 8 inches by £ inch (common iron), 24. 
Washers for $-inch bolts, 1 pound . 
Washers for f-inch bolts, \ pound. 
Tenpenny wire nails, 20 pounds. 
Twentypenny wire nails, 5 pounds. 
Eightpenny wire nails, 3 pounds. 
7-pound rivets, \ package. 
Valley tin for hatchway, 10 feet . 
Lumber for staging and roofing: 

300 linear feet, 1 by 3 inches. 

200 linear feet, 1 by 4 inches. 

20 pieces, 1 inch by 12 feet. 

30 pieces, 1 by 8 inches by 16 feet. 

20 pieces, 1 by 6 inches by 16 feet. 

50 pieces, 2 by 4 inches by 16 feet. 
Material for roof: 

Patent flexible roofing with nails for same, 3 squares. 

1 12-inch galvanized iron ventilator. 

Gas (coal tar), 6 gallons. 
Gasoline, 4 gallons. 

2 50-cent roofing brushes. 

Galvanized iron roofing, 2 by 8 feet for chute, 9 pieces. 

Tar paper, 1 roll. 

1 4-inch metal or tile drain trap; feet 4 inch sewer tile. 

Estimate of bill of material for monolithic concrete silo. Size, 1^ feet by 84 feet, 6-inch 

tcalls. Capacity, 120 tons. 

Foundation: 1 by 2 feet deep, 94.24 cubic feet. Circumference, 47.12 feet. 

Body of silo: 6-inch wall, 34 feet high, 773.5 cubic feet. Circumference inside, 45.55 

Total, 867.7 cubic feet, or 32.1 cubic yards. 
57.5 barrels cement. 
28.5 cubic yards rock. 
17.3 cubic yards sand. 

12 pieces 36-inch square mesh wire fencing 45.5 feet long. 
5 pieces angle iron 2 feet long for doorsills. 
10 pieces scrap iron 4.5 feet long for door sides. 


Inside form material : 

Circumference, 43.98 feet. 

6 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 14 feet dressed oak. 

1 piece 2 by 6 inches by 12 feet dressed oak for door frame. 

6 pieces sheet iron No. 20 or No. 22, 36 inches wide by 8 feet long. 
Outside form material: 

Circumference, 47.12 feet. 

7 pieces sheet iron, No. 20 or No. 22, 3 by 8 feet. 

24 pieces tire steel, 10 inches long, ends upset and bored for riveting to iron. 

12 machine bolts, $ inch by 5 inches, long threads. 

\ package tinner's rivets, If -pound size. 

100 tinner's rivets, 7-pound size. 
Doors: 72 feet B. M., tongued-and-grooved flooring. 

Plates, 6 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 16 feet. 

Rafters, 4 pieces 2 by 6 inches, 18 feet. 

Sheathing, 255 square feet. 

Roofing, 3 squares. 

20 pounds 8-penny common wire. 

30 pounds 10-penny scaffolding. 

5 pounds 20-penny. 
Note. — It is expected that extra care will be taken to have the walls smooth, so 
that no plaster coat will be needed. If possible silo should be built so that the walls 
can season for a month before filling. Give the inside wall a coat of coal tar thinned 
with gasoline to consistency of paint, same as wood silos require. Use good judgment 
in constructing foundation. Use poles and 1 by 4 inch stuff, or material on hand 
for scaffolding. 

Estimate of materials for stave silo, 12 feet in diameter, 24 feet deep, capacity 49 tons. By 

F. H. King. 

If yards of rock or gravel. 

4 barrels of sand. 

1 barrel of cement. 

2,260 feet tongued-and-grooved staves. 

72 feet, 3 by 6 inches by 24 feet, door frames. 

358 feet f -inch round iron for hoops and bolts, weight 465 pounds. 

9 lugs. 

54 nuts. 

Preservative ($1.50). 

Estimate of cost of round stave silo. By J. A. Reagan. 

Mr. J. A. Reagan, of Sweetwater, who erected several silos, estimates the cost of 
building a round stave silo, 20 by 30 feet, with a capacity of 200 tons, about as follows: 

Foundation $10 

2,200 feet of 1 by 3 inch flooring 36 

Oak hoops, 1,400 feet, at $8 12 

Siding, 200 feet, at $8 16 

Nails 15 

Carpenter work 40 

Material and labor in constructing roof 20 

Total 149 

Eitimati of cost of 50-ton silo. Ji,/ ./. .V. Meroney. 

Mr. J. X. M< r ;.\ . .,i I >;irk.< Mill.-, wh<> has used a silo with success for twelve years, 
estimate! the coot <>f building one "f his silos, which has an H-f* -<>t earth cistern with 
li-f.M,t staves above and a capacity of about 60 tons, at $50. Mr. Meroney 'a silo 
i>- 12 feel iii diameter, and lie used 1 L0 2 by l inch by I (-foot staves. The cost was 
as foil 

Earth < istern, l>rirk border foundal Ion. 

1 barrel of cement $7 feet of 2 by l inch by l Hoot staves 18 

8 g-inrh round iron hoops and lugs 15 

Plain rough board roof 10 

Total 50 

Ett&maU of materials for Wisconsin improral silo. Size, .10 fat deep, 14 feet diameter; 

capacity, 90 tons. 

Brick, 3,&75 for foundation, 1 foot thick, 3 feet deep. 
Studs, 50 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 16 feet long. 
Studs, 50 pied B, 2 by 4 inches, 14 feet long. 
Flooring for doors, 32 feet, 4 matched. 

Sheathing, 3,000 feet, J-inch, resawed from 2 by G inch 16-foot plank, sawed three 
times, dressed one side to uniform thickness, for inside lining of two layers. 
Lining, 1,500 feet of same for outside. 
Tarred building paper, 200 yards, water and acid proof. 
Nails, 200 pounds, 8-penny; 200 pounds, 10-penny. 
Spikes, 20 pounds. 

Rafters, 22, 2 by 4 inches, 10 feet long, for usual ridge roof. 
Sheathing for roof, 350 feet of 16-foot boards. 
Shingles, 3,000. 
Shingle nails, 12 pounds. 
Donner window for filling through. 
Paint, 7 gallons, providing for two coats. 
Cement, 2 barrels, for cementing bottom. 

Estimate of materials for a modified Wisconsin silo, same capacity as preceding. 

Brick, 350, for foundation, 8 inches wide, 5 inches thick. 

Studs, 50 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 16 feet long. 

Studs, 50 pieces, 2 by 4 inches, 14 feet long. 

Sheeting, 3.000 feet, \ inch, resawed from 2 by (i inch 16-foot plank, sawed three 
times, dressed in uniform thickness, for inside lining of two layers. 

Tarred building paper, 200 yards, water and acid proof. 

Xails, 150 pounds 8-penny. 

Spikes, 12 pounds. 

No outer siding, roof, or floor is figured on or provided for in this construction. 

To cover the outside of the silo with weatherboard ing would cost about $30 and to 
paint it $6 additional. A roof would add about $10 to the cost, making a total for 
the complete silo of $179.10. A rectangular silo of the same capacity would cost 
about twice as much. These estimates of the cost of construction of the different 
sizes and types of silos are at best only approximate. The cost of constructing a silo 
will be influenced by many local conditions, as the juice of labor and lumber. In 
some sections of the country lumber will cost one-third more than in other places. 
When the farmer l:< ts ready to build a silo and determines on the type, it will not 


be a difficult matter to get out a bill of the material needed, and then by consulting 
his local dealers, or, for that matter, those at a distance as well, he can judge about 
what he should pay for the material needed, and it will not be a difficult matter to 
find a carpenter who with a little guidance can construct a silo with the aid of the 
labor that should be available on every farm. 

Estimate of cost of 80-ton stare silo. By S. P. White. 

Mr. S. P. White, of Pulaski, has constructed a silo on principles similar to those 
outlined in this paper. He estimates the cost of such a silo, 14 by 24 feet, with a 
capacity of 80 tons, as follows: 

Foundation (stone quarried on farm) $5. 00 

Seven |-inch iron hoops 14. 00 

2,300 feet 2 by 4 inch staves 35. 00 

175 feet 2 by 12 inch planks for plate 2. 62 

150 feet 1 by 12 inch planks for feeding-chute and doors 2. 25 

Nails 2.00 

Labor 15. 00 

Total 75. 87 


1. Indian Corn Culture, by C. S. Plumb. J. N. Sanders Pub. Co. 

2. The Book of Corn, by Herbert Myrick et al. Orange Judd Co. 

3. Soiling, Ensilage, and Stable Construction, by F. S. Peer. M. F. Mansfield, N. Y. 

4. A Book on Silage, by F. W. Woll. Rand, McNally & Co. 

5. Silage. Arkansas Sta. Rpt. 1889. 

6. An Underground Silo. Colorado Sta. Bui. 30. 

7. Silage from Cowpeas. Delaware Sta. Rpt. 1893. 

8. Preparation and Use of Silage. Florida Sta. Bui. 16. 

9. Preparation and Use of Silage. Illinois Sta. Bui. 2. 

10. The Silo and Silage in Indiana. Indiana Sta. Bui. 40. 

11. Silos and Silage. Kansas Sta. Bui. 6. 

12. Steaming, Storage in Field Pits, etc. Kansas Sta. Rpt. 1889. 

13. Preparation and Use of Silage. Kansas Sta. Bui. 48. 

14. Silos and Silage. Maryland Sta. Rpt. 1889-91. 

15. Silos and Silage. Michigan Sta. Bui. 47. 

16. Building Silos. Michigan Sta. Sp. Bui. 6. 

17. Preparation and Use of Silage. Mississippi Sta. Bui. 8. 

18. Silos and Ensilage. Nebraska Sta. Bui. 17. 

19. Silage in Dairy Farming. New Hampshire Sta. Bui. 14. 

20. Changes in Silos. New York State Sta. Rpt. 1892. 

21. Silage and Silos. New York State Sta. Bui. 102. 

22. The Construction of the Stave Silo. New York Cornell Bui. 167. 

23. Silos and Silage. North Carolina Sta. Bui. 80. 

24. Silos and Silage. Ohio Bui., V. II, No. 3. 

25. Silos and Silage. Oregon Sta. Bui. 9. 

26. Losses in Silage. Oregon Sta. Bui. 67. 

27. Preparation. Oregon Sta. Bui. 72. 

28. Silos and Silo Building. Pennsylvania Board of Agr. Rpt. 1894. 

29. Silos and Silage. South Carolina Sta. Bui. 51. 

30. Silos and Silage. South Dakota Sta. Bui. 51. 

31. Loss in Preparation. Vermont Sta. Rpt. 1889. 

32. Loss in Ensiling. Vermont Sta. Rpt. 1894. 


i ad Silage. \ iiginia Sta. Bui 
heap Biloe in \ ixginia. Virginia Bta. Bui. to. 
Silos and Silage. Washington Bta. Bui. 14. 
.;»>. silo Building and Pilling. Wisconsin Bta. Bui. 19. 
.;:. Tin- < lonstruction of Silos. Wisconsin Bta. Bui. 28. 
38. The Construction of Biloa and the Making and Handling of Silage. Wiso 

Sta. Bui 
39 Lateral Pressure of Silage. \\ r isconsin Bta. Etpt. 1894. 

io. Losses iii Silage; ( hanu'cs in I-Vrnn-ntation. Wisconsin Bta. Rpt. L900and 1901. 
41, Silos and Silage. I '. 8. Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bui. 32 

12. Ensilage. Ontario Sta. Bui. 32. 

13. Fodder Corn and the silo. Ontario Bta. Bui. 42. 

1 1. The Silo and < Sam Ensilage. < tatario Bureau of Industries Bui. 

45. Experiments with Corn, Porage Crops, and Spring Cereals. Tenn< Bui., 

V. 14, No. 1. 
4»i. Crops for the Silo. Tennessee Sta. Bui., V. 17, So. 1. 

47. Increasing the Yield of Com. Tennessee Sta. Bui., V. 17, No. 2. 

48. U. S. Dept. Agr., Expt. Station Record , Vols. 1 to 15, inclusive. 

ADDITIONAL COPIES of this publication 
A may be procured from the Superintend- 
ent of Documents, Government Printing 
Office, Washington, D. C. , at 5 cents per copy 


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