Why Does Silo Have Holes?

Silo north of Bertrand on NN 0 W Granite Rd 12-05-2015Road Warriorette Shari and I cruised Scott and Mississippi counties looking for photos to illustrate my Bootheel project. Late in the afternoon, when everything took on a golden glow, we spotted this silo on CR NN near West Granite Road north or Bertrand.

The recent cold nights must have killed whatever foliage had attached itself to the structure.

My silo ignorance is showing

Silo north of Bertrand on NN 0 W Granite Rd 12-05-2015One of the problems with documenting an agricultural area is that I know practically nothing about farming.

Would someone explain why this silo (and  couple others we saw in the same area) have holes running up the side? Click on the photos to make them larger.

12 Replies to “Why Does Silo Have Holes?”

  1. The silo looked even spookier from where I was standing, where you could see the two dead trees behind it snaking bare arms up against the sky.

  2. I think to make it easier to fill. As grain was put in , the holes cold be stopped up and continue to fill. Venting could be improved by removing those that were not needed.

  3. Those are the silo doors. They would have been under the shroud-that vertical round thing on the side of the silo. The door hinge frames could also have been the ladder as space is tight. Also in the shroud would be the uploader, and possibly the uploader power cable if electricity was available. Old silo doors can be found on ebay sometimes.

  4. Go to Wikipedia “silos”, scroll down far enough, and you see an image of a very similar one in Texas, ca.1900.

  5. The holes are for doors to access the grain in the silo at a level where grain could be taken out of the silo by opening a door and letting gravity do the work but still be able to control the flow. If you would open a door at the bottom of a full silo, the pressure from the grain flowing out would make it impossible to close the door and stop the flow.

  6. We had a silo on our jersey dairy farm and my father filled it with chopped corn that you harvested while it was still green, plant ears & all were blown into the silo from the top. If memory serves me, the doors were so you could get in and pack the ensilage down and keep the pile even. The ensilage would ferment and then it would be fed to the cows in the winter. I remember my Mom telling me that my Dad had to be careful because the mixture gave off methane (I think) gas and you could suffocate in an instant if the seal on the top was broken or gas leaked out because it had to be kept air tight to ferment. I was only 5 or 6 when we had to sell the farm because we could not afford to put in a bulk milk tank operation. That was 1955 or 1956. I remember my Dad sitting on the concrete wall crying while he broke our milk bottles.

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