Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The tower silo
 The underground silo
 The trench silo
 Forage crops used for silage
 Methods and costs of filling silos...
 Capacities of silos

Group Title: Bulletin New Series
Title: Silos
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014593/00001
 Material Information
Title: Silos
Series Title: Bulletin New Series
Physical Description: 22 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1943
Subject: Silos   ( lcsh )
Silage   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "Reprinted August 1943."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014593
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7067
ltuf - AMF9720
oclc - 41483298
alephbibnum - 002454407

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
        Page 5
    The tower silo
        Page 6
    The underground silo
        Page 7
    The trench silo
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Forage crops used for silage
        Page 10
    Methods and costs of filling silos in the north central states
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Capacities of silos
        Page 21
        Page 22
Full Text


f ,' ---- --_.
; ,i" 7"

DEC 2 1970

NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
Reprinted, August 1943



No. 71




NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner


No. 71


1.-Introduction --------------

2.-The Tower Silo 6

3.-The Under-Ground Silo 7

4.-The Trench Silo -------- 8

5.-Forage Crops Used for Silage ------ 10

6.-Methods and Costs --------- 11
(a) Scope of Study ------------- 12
(b) Type and Cost of Equipment 13
(c) Ownership of Equipment -- 14
(d) Crew Required for Filling -- --- 18

7.-Capacities of Silos ------- -------- 21



A silo is a pit or a water-tight and air-tight tower which
is used for the preservation of green crops. Every owner of
livestock is confronted with the problem of feeding his
stock during the winter. It has been found that if certain
crops are gathered just before they reach maturity, and are
stored in a tower or pit of the kind just defined, they will
remain green almost indefinitely. Thus we see that it be-
hooves the livestock owner to make one of these simple con-
structions in order that he may be able to feed his stock
better and more cheaply during the winter.
Sometimes silage is needed in dry summer months the
same as in the winter-in the extreme south is this particu-
larly true.
The history of the silo dates back to antiquity, but in
general practice it is a modern invention. It is now con-
sidered a necessary part of the equipment on any dairy or
beef cattle farm in climates of severe winters. The silo is
not quite so indespensible where grazing can be had the year
round. Even so it often happens, even in Florida, that a
dry spell in mid-summer will dry up all pastures and silage
must be resorted to or very expensive feeding of imported
dry feeds.
At present a large percent of human food is canned. The
problem of canning stock feed is solved by the silo. Forage
placed in silos goes through a process of fermentation and
respiration of plant cells which produces what is now called
silage, but which was formerly called ensilage. One might
think that green stuff cut and packed in a bulk would rot
and not be long about it, and so it would if stacked in the
open. But when packed in an airtight structure and prop-

early dampened it merely ferments and keeps its food prop-
erites indefinitely. The air must be excluded. The greater
the pressure the better for excluding the air; for this reason
it is best to have a deep silo.
However, under-ground silos are much cheaper and have
proved satisfactory in many of the southern states.
There are three types of silos as to position: (1) the up-
right above the ground, (2) the upright in the ground, (3)
the trench in the ground. (There are two types of trench
silos.) There are five kinds as to material of which they
are composed: (1) the wooden structure, (2) the concrete,
(3) the metal, (4) the tile, (5) the brick. The shape can
be anything desired, though it is usually cylindrical except
in the case of the trench silo which is usually rectangular.

The tower silo, or upright silo above the ground, has pos-
sibly been built more than any other kind since its inven-
tion 41 years ago. This may be due to the fact that this
particular type of silo is more easily unloaded than the other
types. However, in recent years the trend has been dis-
tinctly in favor of the trench silo.
The tower silo may be built of any of the materials prev-
iously named: tile, brick, concrete, wood, or steel. How-
ever, tile and steel are possibly more desirable than the
others. The silo must be built strong enough to withstand
the great pressure exerted in the settling of the silage. After
this settling has taken place there is no more pressure against
the walls, but during the process of settling it may be as
high as 330 pounds per sq. foot at the bottom of a 30 foot
In previous years silos were not built to any great depth.
Consequently, the silage had to be weighted in order to keep
it from spoiling. This weighting is not necessary in the
present-day tall silos since the silage will pack itself of its
own weight.

A silo must necessarily be filled from the top. This is ac-
complished by the use of a blower. The blower may be at-
tached to the cutter, and a long pipe extending from the
blower to the top of the silo is used to carry the material to
the top of the silo. A hole should be left at the top of the
silo large enough for entrance. This hole should be tightly
closed except when it is in use. A series of doors should be
left in the side of the silo in order that the silage may be
easily unloaded. Or, an opening may be left from the top
of the silo to the bottom. This opening however, must
have air-tight sections in it in order that no air will reach
the silage and spoil it.
The cutter and the blower may be run by a tractor if one
is available, if not any gasoline or kerosene engine may be
used provided it has sufficient horsepower.
It is important to remember that the pipe used to carry
the forage from the blower to the top of the silo should
under no condition be less than 5 or 6 inches in diameter,
if it is smaller than this it will not permit the free flow of
air and forage through it and it will become stopped up.
Also-if the pipe is too large the blower will not furnish
sufficient air to fill it. About 7 or 8 inches is a good size.
Another very important thing to remember in filling any
silo is that the forage must be damp-otherwise it will rot.
If it is possible, a water pipe or hose should be extended to
the top of the silo, and the forage may be watered as it falls
from the blower-pipe. If it is impossible to pump water as
high as the top of the silo, it may be introduced at the
bottom of the blower-pipe.
A table will be found in the back of this bulletin giving
the capacities of tower silos of various dimensions.

The underground silo, or upright silo in the ground, is
possibly not as common as either the tower silo or the trench
silo. They are built largely on the same plan as the tower
silo. The main difference is in the material used. Practically
all of the underground silos are built of concrete. This con-

create should be about 6 or 8 inches thick. Some silos are
made of brick and are sealed with concrete.
The great advantage of this type of silo over the tower
silo is its ease of filling. One can easily see that it needs no
blower to carry the forage to the top. The cutter may be
placed on the edge of the silo and the forage will fall into it.
A good plan of arrangement is to build a small two story
shed over this particular silo. The top part of the shed is
used for storing various produce such as potatoes. Two
ends of the ground floor, which is immediately above the
silo, are removable. This provides easy access to the silo in
both loading and unloading it. Also, if the cutter is placed
on one of the open sides a belt may be extended across the
top of the silo to the tractor or other power plant on the
other side. Another advantage in this type of silo is that
the forage is easily watered. A hose may be used very satis-
factorily for this purpose. Some kind of trough may be
placed over the edge of the silo and directly in front of the
cutter. When the forage flies out of the cutter it will strike
the trough, and if a stream of water is also squirted on the
trough it will wet the forage as it falls into the silo.
After the silo is filled it should be allowed to set for several
days during this time the forage will sink several inches.
When it has finished settling enough more silage should be
added to bring the surface nearly to the edge of the silo.
Over this a layer of straw 6 to 8 inches should be thrown,
and 12-14 inches of dirt should be thrown over the straw.

The trench silo has many advantages, if some disadvan-
tages, over the other types of silos. It is cheaper to build
and cheaper to operate than either of the upright silos.
Here is a very efficient kind of silo that every farmer can
own. As one farmer has expressed it: "The only obstacle
in the way of building a trench silo is making up your mind
to have one."
The trench silo is exactly what the name implies. It is a
trench dug in the ground for the purpose of preserving

silage. If possible it should be located in clay soil that is not
water-soaked. Of course it should be in as convenient a
place as possible. The sandy soil of southern Florida may
present a problem. In this case it will be necessary to line
the walls and bottom of the silo with boards which should
be treated with creosote if possible. Or better still, if the
silo can be lined with concrete all danger of spoiling from
loss of water will be eliminated. This also eliminates danger
of the walls caving in. In cases where the silo cannot be dug
sufficiently deep without becoming filled with water it may
be built partially above the ground. This may be done by
extending the boards or concrete of the sides to a sufficient
height above the ground. It may be banked up on the out-
side to prevent the sides from being pushed out by the
Another advantage of the trench silo is that it can be
more easily enlarged than either of the upright silos. Thus
it can be made to accommodate a growing herd.
The actual cost of a trench silo is negligible. In the right
kind of soil it could be built without any cost whatever, ex-
cept the labor. Including the cost of this labor and any
materials that have to be bought, it is estimated that a
trench silo can be built at a cost of approximately 79 cents
per ton capacity. Thus a silo with a capacity of 30 tons
would cost $23.70. These figures also allow a liberal cost
for mule labor and the cost of the roof.
Another advantage of the trench silo over the others is
that it is both easily filled and emptied. It does not need a
blower to elevate the silage when filling, and it may be easily
emptied by shoveling the silage over the side. When feed-
ing from the silo do not feed a layer from the top length of
the silo because too much of the silage will be exposed to
the air and is likely to spoil. Simply remove the dirt and
straw in advance of daily feeding and cut the necessary
slice from the end.
A table of sizes and capacities of trench silos will be
found in the back of this bulletin.

There are various kinds of crops that can be converted
into silage. Different ones of these crops may prove better
or worse in different parts of the country according to con-
ditions which prevail. However, the one universal forage
crop which is used for silage is Indian Corn. It is easy to
raise, it preserves nicely, and it is one of the best foods
known for beef and dairy cattle. It should be cut just be-
fore it reaches maturity. If it is cut too late it is likely to
rot. The stalk is cut in the field, and every bit of it includ-
ing the ears of corn is ground up in the cutter. Other 'good
forage crops are sorghum, sunflower, alfalfa, clover, cow-
peas and soybeans, pea or corn cannery refuse, green oats,
beet tops and leaves, and beet pulp.


Associate Agricultural Economist, Division of Farm Management and
Costs, Bureau of Agricultural Economics

The corn crop from approximately 4,000,000 acres is con-
verted into silage in the United States each year. This method
of harvesting and storing the corn crop is used in all parts
of the country but is most common in the dairy regions,
and, to a lesser extent, in beef-cattle-feeding areas. Corn is
cut for silage on approximately 375,000 farms or on an
average of about one farm in 17. Wisconsin leads in total
number of farms on which silage is fed-more than 90,000,
or about one-third the total number of farms. Twenty-five
percent of the farms in New York and 20 percent of those
in Minnesota reported this method of harvesting corn in
1929. Corn is cut for silage on more than one-half the farms
in the dairy area in northern Illinois.
The presence of the European corn borer in the United
States has caused more attention to center on equipment
and methods for harvesting corn. The continued spread
and increased numbers of borers will necessitate the adop-
tion of farm practices by which the entire corn plant is fed
to livestock or otherwise disposed of. Cutting for silage or
fodder is an effective method of controlling the borer if
the corn is cut at the ground surface, and may be the most
economical method of control where the silage or fodder
can be fed to dairy or beef cattle.
Improvements in silo-filling machinery and the develop-
ment of new methods have eliminated much of the drudg-
ery of silo filling and, with the increased use of farm trac-
tors, have been important factors in promoting individual
farm ownership of such machinery. These developments
have made the choice of equipment and methods more
difficult for the individual farmer, however, since much
1 Quotation from U. S. Department of Agriculture Bulletin 1725, July, 1934.

must consider, with respect to conditions on his farm, the
labor is replaced by power and equipment. The farmer
ownership of silo-filling machinery, the type and size of
equipment, and the size and organization of the crew. On
farms on which the necessary equipment is already owned
there is little alternative so far as machine ownership or
type of equipment is concerned since the cost of making
a change would more than offset any advantage gained. On
farms on which no equipment for filling is owned, or on
which the old equipment is so depreciated that it cannot be
used further, a choice must be made between buying new
equipment or hiring a machine, and if the operator decides
to purchase new equipment the choice of type and size is
important. The most economical size and organization of
the crew may vary from farm to farm, and from year to
year on the same farm, with changes in the supply of labor,
relative prices of labor and power, and other factors.
This study is based on data collected in 1928 and 1929 by
the Department of Farm Organization and Management,
University of Illinois, in cooperation with the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics, United States Department of
Agriculture. Records of the cost of filling upright silos
were obtained on 87 farms in Illinois on which stationary
cutters were used and on 118 farms on which field har-
vesters were used. Practices and equipment in silo filling
have not changed appreciably since the data were gathered.
It is believed the conclusions are approximately applicable
to most parts of the country where upright silos are used.
They are particularly applicable to conditions in the North
Central States.
Since then the wages of farm labor have fallen to about
48 percent, the cost of horsepower to about 50 percent,
and the cost of tractor power to 85 percent of the rates ob-
taining during the years of the study. These changes and
changes in the future should be taken into account by
farmers in using the figures given in this bulletin.
The purpose of this bulletin is (1) to show the elements


of cost involved in filling upright silos by different methods
and practices, (2) to show the relative importance of these
elements of cost and the factors affecting them, and (3)
to present a basis for selecting and combining them in such
manner as best to fit conditions on the individual farm. As
it is assumed that the farmer is committed to the practice
of making and feeding silage, no attempt is made to show
its advantages or disadvantages. Nor is the cost of produc-
ing the corn crop considered since in most areas the methods
used in producing silage corn are similar to those used in
producing corn for grain.
Two methods in which the equipment is entirely differ-
ent are used for filling silos in the United States. The most
common method is that in which corn is cut in the field,
hauled to the silo, and cut up for silage with a stationary
cutter. The field silage harvester was first put on the mar-
ket in 1918 and is not widely used. It cuts the standing
corn and chops it into silage lengths in one operation, after
which the material is elevated into the silo by means of a
The stationary cutters are all of the same general type,
varying only in mechanical construction, and, more im-
portant, in size. There are wide variations, however, in the
equipment and methods used in cutting the corn in the
field and hauling it to the silo. The maximum cutting
capacity of stationary cutters varies largely with the size,
but on most farms the rate of filling depends on the num-
ber of men hauling the corn to the silos. The field harvester
is made in only one size, and the only equipment used with
it are box wagons for hauling the cut corn to the silo and a
blower to elevate it. The small amount of strenuous labor
required in filling with this machine makes it possible to
utilize a class of labor that cannot be used around a sta-
tionary cutter.
The newer field harvesters are drawn and operated by a
tractor equipped with a power-take-off device. They have
proved more efficient and satisfactory than the earlier ma-


chines, which were drawn by horses, the cutter mechanism
being operated by a gasoline motor mounted on the frame
of the machine. The older type of cutter was used on nearly
two-thirds of the farms studied, and there seemed little dif-
ference in the cost of filling.
The amount of capital required to buy silo-filling equip-
ment is relatively large in relation to the amount of use
that can be made of such equipment on many individual
farms. Insufficient capital, or alternative uses for that
which is available, lead many farmers to hire custom outfits
to fill their silos, or leave little choice as to type of equip-
ment to be purchased. This is particularly true in the case
of tenant operators, whose capital is closely limited or whose
terms of accupancy may be uncertain.
The amount of capital required depends on the methods
and equipment used in cutting the standing corn, and on
the type of equipment used in cutting the corn into
silage length. The average initial cost of the silo-filling
equipment used on the farms studied was as follows: Sta-
tionary cutter, $375; corn binder without elevator, $175,
and with elevator $225; field harvester, $625; blower, $225.
Most of the equipment used on these farms was bought
during the 8 to 10 years previous to the time the study was
made. Small stationary cutters may be bought for less,
however, and if the corn is cut by hand the necessary invest-
ment per farm may be kept at a much lower figure than
is indicated by these prices.
Private ownership of silo-filling equipment has become
common, and the relatively high investment has been justi-
fied by a saving in labor costs and amount of time used in
filling. In many instances the necessary capital is supplied
by two or more farm operators, and the equipment is owned
and operated cooperatively. In localities in which silos are
common the necessary equipment may be hired, frequently
at less cost than if a machine were owned. In addition to
regular custom outfits operated entirely for profit, many
farmer-owned machines are used on neighboring farms in

exchange for power or labor, and some custom work often
is done to provide profitable work for the regular labor and
at the same time reduce the overhead cost of filling the
home silo.
The farm tractor has been an important element in pro-
moting farm ownership of belt-operated equipment. Many
tractors are bought with a view of reducing the cost of hir-
ing power and equipment for belt work and with the
knowledge that they would otherwise not be used enough
to justify the investment. If power for filling silos has to be
hired its cost may more than offset any advantage of own-
ing silo-filling equipment.
Cooperative ownership of equipment often solves the
problem of securing the initial capital and of providing
labor and power for silo filling. Overhead costs decrease as
the amount of corn cut by each machine increases, and the
investment per farm is lower when the machine is owned
cooperatively. The number of farms included in such an
agreement, however, should be no more than are needed to
provide the necessary capital, labor, and power.
The choice of equipment may be influenced and the rela-
tive costs of filling determined by the amount available or
by alternative uses for the available capital, labor, and
power. No capital is invested if a custom machine is hired,
but the cash costs are higher. The effect on the farm in-
come, if these elements of production are used in other
phases of the farm business, may determine their value in
filling silos. Capital invested in other equipment or im-
provements may return a greater income than if used to
purchase a silo filler. Family labor and horse work are im-
portant items of cost only if they may be used in other
work, at that time, which would increase the farm income
or decrease the operating expenses of the farm.
The ease of filling or amount of leisure time may be con-
sidered on farms where costs by different methods appear
similar. The usual custom in the community or considera-
tion for neighbors may also be important in some instances.
On one farm two silos, each with a capacity of 25 6 tons,


were filled. The large quantity of silage made it almost im-
possible for this man to exchange labor with his neighbors.
A new field harvester would have necessitated hiring an-
other tractor and would not have reduced the time used
very much. The operator, two regularly hired men, and
two extra hired men filled these silos in 125 hours with a
16-inch stationary cutter, cutting the corn in the field with
a binder equipped with an elevator.
The effect of these factors on the total cost of filling by
different methods and on the distribution of costs may be
seen more easily by making some estimates on a single farm.
On one of the farms studied, a custom machine was hired
to fill a silo holding 175 tons. A custom charge of $4 per
hour, plus the cost of fuel, was paid for the tractor and
cutter, and the labor of two men. Labor was exchanged
with four other farmers in the community and, in order
to fill as rapidly as possible, a crew of 15 men was used in
addition to the machine men. A total of 67.5 hours was
required to fill the five silos, and since only the operator
was on the farm at this season of the year it was necessary
to hire two men for the entire period. The costs of filling
with the custom machine and the estimated costs if a sta-
tionary cutter or a field harvester had been owned are shown
in table 4. It is estimated that with his own stationary
cutter this farmer can cooperate with only three other men
and fill the four silos in 72 hours with a crew of 10 men.
In case the field harvester was owned, the cooperation of
only one other is desirable, and with six men the two silos
will be filled in 48 hours. One difficulty with individual
ownership of the field harvester is the necessity for two
tractors. In this case it may be agreed that each farmer will
furnish a tractor and that the farmer cooperated with will
pay the estimated depreciation costs on the field cutter and
blower in filling his silo. As these costs will about equal
the cost of hiring a tractor, neither is included in the costs
The estimated costs, based on prices prevailing in 1929,
were $1.17 per ton when a custom machine was hired and
would have been $1.08 if a stationary cutter had been owned


and $1.05 if a field cutter had been purchased. Cash costs
were even more in favor of the field harvester, being 77
cents per ton when a custom machine was used, 45 cents
with an owned stationary cutter, and 36 cents with a field
harvester. Depreciation and interest, however, are greatest
when the field harvester is used and amount to only a small
part of the total cost when a machine is hired. Under these
conditions costs are in favor of the field harvester. What
will be the effect on these costs and their distribution (1)
if only half as much silage is cut; (2) if the yield of corn
per acre is materially different; (3) if more unpaid labor is
available, and (4) if labor and material costs are changed?
TABLE 4.-Cost of filling a 175-ton silo with a custom machine on one farm in 1929,
and estimated costs if a stationary cutter and field harvester had been owned
When hired If owned If owned
stationary stationary field
Item cutter was cutter had harvester
used been used had been
Dollars Dollars Dollars
Cash costs .............................................. 135.28 78.21 63.02
Unpaid costs .....................---- ...--........--- 53.85 57.20 36.60
Depreciation .............-.........--.......-......-... 10.21 29.49 49.96
Interest .....-- ...................--...............--- ..... 5.67 23.34 34.8D
Total ............................................ 205.01 188.24 184.47

If only 87.5 tons of corn were cut, all costs, with the ex-
ception of interest, presumably would be reduced accord-
ingly. But interest makes up only 2.8 percent of the total
when a machine is hired, 12.4 percent when a stationary
cutter is owned, and 18.9 percent when a field harvester is
owned. So far as total costs are concerned, therefore, the
custom machine would be the most economical method,
while the field harvester is the most expensive. Cash costs,
likewise, are reduced by half when a field harvester is owned
unless the smaller quantity of corn enabled the operator to
return a greater part of the exchange labor with unpaid
labor, in which case the costs would be reduced more than
A lower yield of corn per acre would increase the acre-
age of corn required. More labor and power would be used
in cutting the corn and depreciation on the binder would
be increased accordingly when stationary cutters are used.
The rate of filling would also be reduced unless additional


labor is hired for cutting and haulinig corn. If the yield is
reduced one-third, the cost of filling with the custom ma-
chine is increased about 12.4 percent and with an owned
cutter about 14.1 percent. In the case of the field harvester,
however, depreciation on the tractor and field cutter would
be increased 50 percent, and nearly 50 percent more fuel
would be used. Not more than five men would be needed,
since the rate of cutting would be lower, but the total
labor bill would be increased nearly 10 percent, while
slightly less horse work would be used. The total cost, how-
ever, is increased about 22.5 percent and is more than if a
stationary cutter is owned and nearly as much as if one is
hired. Yield is important, therefore, in determining the
relative economy of the field harvester.
The amount of family labor available does not affect the
total cost but does affect the amount of hired labor and
thus the cash cost of filling. If there were two unpaid mem-
bers of the family, the cash cost of filling with the custom
machine would be reduced $27, with the owned stationary
$28.80, and $19.20 if a field cutter is used. Not only family
labor but regular hired labor, which would be paid even if
the silo were not filled, should be considered in this way.
The cost of hired labor affects both total costs and their
distribution. Labor costs make up a larger proportion of
the total when stationary cutters are used; so low-cost
labor reduces the advantage of the field harvester. If labor
can be obtained at 25 cents an hour instead of 40 cents,
the cost of filling with the stationary cutters on this farm
is reduced nearly 15 percent but less than 12 percent in the
case of the field harvester. The possibility of using less-able
labor, boys, or elderly men, with the field harvester, how-
ever, always offers a chance of further reducing the cost
of filling with the field harvester.

The size and organization of the crew used in filling silos
should be determined by the type of equipment used, the
amount of unpaid labor and exchange labor available, the

cost of hired labor, and the amount of time available for
The rate of filling with the field harvester is determined
by the capacity of the field cutter, and three or four men
with teams can almost always haul the chopped corn from
the field to the silo as fast as it is cut. One man usually is
kept at the silo to tend the tractor and blower, help unload,
and put doors in the silo. Tramping is considered unneces-
sary in filling with the field harvester since the lower rate
of filling usually gives sufficient time for the material to
settle from its own weight. The most efficient number of
men is not so difficult to determine when this type of equip-
ment is used.
The organization of the crew used in filling with the sta-
tionary cutter is not so simple. Except in cases where very
small cutters are used of where sufficient power is not avail-
able, the number of men hauling corn from the field is the
limiting factor in determining the rate of filling. The
necessity or desire of the silo owner to fill slowly or rapidly
should determine the size of the crew in most cases. Where
a custom machine is hired and the cost determined by the
amount of time used, a large crew is economical in most

TABLE 5.-Approximate quantities of corn handled per unit of man labor and power
in corn yielding 8 tons of silage material per arre*

Operation an un- Expected Operation and Quan- Expected
Operation and tity range in tity range in
method per quantity method per quantity
unit unit
Tons Tons | Tons Tons
Cutting corn in field I Hauling corn cut
by hand ................ 1.6 1.0-2.2 with binder with
Cutting corn in field I elevator:
.with binder: Without extra
Without elevator \ 5.4 4.4-6.4 drivers .... 1.5 1.2-1.8
With elevator .... 4.4 3.4-5.4 With extra
Hauling corn cut by drivers .... ---- 1.6 1.4-1.8
hand: Cutting corn with
Without extra power-take-off
pitchers ........ 1.0 .7-1.3 field harvester .... 5.8 4.0-7.6
With extra I Cutting corn with
pitchers ........ 1.2 .9-1.5 motor-mounted
Hauling corn cut field harvester ...... 5.2 4.2-6.2
with binder with-
out elevator:
Without extra
pitchers ...-.... 1.3 1.0-1.6
With extra I
pitchers ........ 1.4 1.1-1.7 I
One unit of man labor, and power consists of 1 man plus 2 horses in hauling
corn, 3 horses in cutting with a binder or motor-mounted field harvester, or 1 tractor
in the case of the power-take-off field harvester, the combination working 1 hour.

cases. If a machine is owned, however, and no other work
at which the regular labor can be more effectively used is
available, the cash cost usually is reduced by filling more
slowly with a small crew in order to use unpaid or exchange
labor as much as possible.
The approximate quantity of corn that one man with the
usual power unit may be expected to handle per hour is
shown in table 5. The rate of cutting corn in the field is
especially affected by the yield per acre, but the quantity of
corn hauled per man is also affected, so the data in table 5
are adjusted for corn yielding about eight tons of silage per
acre. As the rate of performance is also affected by other
factors such as the distance the corn is hauled, the type of
corn, and size of crew in relation to size of cutter, the ex-
pected range, due to these factors, is also shown.
Given a farm on which a medium-sized stationary cutter
is owned with sufficient power and labor available to fill a
180-ton silo in two days or about 18 hours; how many men
will be needed, and how must they be distributed if the
corn is cut with a binder and the bundles dropped on the
A study of the figures in table 5, indicates that two bind-
ers are necessary to complete the job in the time specified,
or one, if it cuts one entire day before filling is started. Since
one man can haul about one ton per hour, ten men with
teams and wagons are necessary, or if two or three extra
pitchers are provided to help load the wagons in the field,
eight men may be sufficient. Two men should be kept at
the silo when cutting at this rate, one to feed the cutter and
one to tend the tractor and cutter. In order to fill the silo
fairly full at least two men should tramp; and there prob-
ably should be one man to put in doors, tend the water, and
do other miscellaneous tasks.
This arrangement makes a crew of at least 17 men. More
will be needed if the distance from the field to the silo is
unusually great or if the yield of corn per acre is lower. If
the corn is cut by hand, six men are necessary in cutting
unless some corn is cut the day before. If binders with the


elevator attachments are used; three binders probably will
be necessary, but not more than seven men will be needed
for hauling.
The size of crew probably is more often determined by
the number of men available than by the speed at which it
is desired to fill. Suppose ten men are available on this farm;
what should be their distribution? One man must tend the
cutter and tractor, two men should tramp, put in doors,
etc., while one man with a binder can cut the corn. This
would leave six men to haul corn, and the silo would be
filled at the rate of about 6.5 to 7.5 tons an hour. Since one
binder can cut only about 5.5 tons an hour some cutting
must be done the day before. If elevator attachments are
used on the binders, two binders would be necessary, and
five men would be left to haul corn to the silo. The five men
could not keep both binders cutting steadily, but this would
be preferable to using one binder and delaying the haulers.
The organization of the crew is an important factor in
obtaining economic and efficient operation. The choice of
equipment is made only once in several years, but the most
efficient crew must be determined each year, on the basis of
local conditions.

Depth of
silo, feet Inside diameter of silo, feet
10 12 14 15 16 18 20
20 26 38 51 59 67 85 105
21 28 40 55 63 72 91 112
22 30 43 59 67 77 97 120
23 32 46 62 72 82 103 128
24 34 49 66 76 87 110 135
25 36 52 70 81 90 116 143
26 38 55 74 85 97 123 152
27 40 58 78 90 103 130 160
28 42 61 83 95 108 137 169
29 45 64 88 10) 114 144 178
30 47 68 93 105 119 151 187


To determine the size of silo you need, multiply the num-
ber of cows to be fed by the number of days they are to be
fed. This will give the number of cubic feet needed, be-
cause a cow will feed about one cubic foot of silage per day.
Example: 20 cows to be fed 150 days; 20x150 is 3,000
cubic feet, or 30x3,000 is 90,000 pounds or about 45 tons
of silage necessary.
No. of cows it will
Width at top Width at bottom Depth Length feed for 100 days
6 i 5 24 6
6 4 5 32 8
6 4 5 40 10
7 5 6 34 12
7 5 6 39 14
and so on, the table can be carried out indefinitely.

The following facts have been summarized from various
Experiment Station reports on silage feeding as compared
Sto dry field cured roughage:
(Quoted from Mississippi State College circular, by L. A.
Olson and L. A. Higgins.)
"From many tests, silage reduced the feed cost per pound
of butterfat 10 cents."
"Illinois, comparing silage with corn fodder, found silage
worth 31 percent more."
"Nebraska, comparing silage with corn stover, found
silage worth 20 percent more."
"Kansas, comparing Kafir silage with Kafir fodder,
found the silage worh $37.00 more per acre."
"Pennsylvania, comparing cows receiving silage with
same not receiving silage, found silage increased yearly pro-
duction 150 gallons per cow."
"Kansas, where silage was fed, obtained an average great-
er yearly return per cow of $19.03."


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