A silo is a large container used to store bulk materials. They are mainly used in the farming industry to store wheat, grain, or fermented feed (also known as silage). A silo can also be used to store large amounts or cement, woodchips, sawdust, coal and food products. Agricultural silos are designed to store products such as wheat and high-moisture grains that are used to feed the farm animals. They are a very important part of the farming industry and the growth in population and production leads to an increase in demand for metal silos and grain storage solutions.
The primary function of a silo is to provide isolation and protection to increase the storage life of the wheat/grain. In addition to keeping food safe, the bottoms of silos can be removed from the rest of the unit, which allows the products inside to be emptied. The wheat or grain is removed from silos by using farm machines known as ‘unloaders’. The food must be removed within a certain period of time in order to keep the contents of the silo fresh.
There are more options than ever before when it comes to choosing a silo. There are many different types that are suitable for different scenarios. However, no matter which silo you go for, the contents must be free of any insects, mold and chemical residues. When considering on-farm storage and deciding which silo to go for depends entirely on your requirements, your livestock and the type of substance that the silo will be used to hold. The different types of silos include the following:
- Silo bags – A silo bag is good for the storage for grains, even when they are wet. It is made of a three-layer (white/black) film and offers UV protection.
- Aerated silos – An aerated Silo is specifically designed for fine powders. The material is aerated by pumping air into the bottom of the silo, causing it to act as a fluid whilst the materials discharge from of the bottom of the silo.
- Sealed silos – The purchase of a sealed silo is an important investment for better grain insect control. Insects must be controlled in stored grain as they damage grains and excrete moisture that can migrate to the headspace and cause molding.