Above: An old silo, July 24, 2017
If you live, as I do, in farm country, old silos are a familiar sight. Almost all of them are abandoned now, because the farms do not raise livestock anymore. Dairying is out; corn and soybean fields predominate.
My curiosity about these old silos led me to read a selection on their form and function for the 51st volume of the Nonfiction Collection. I found out that you could estimate from the diameter of a silo, how big a herd it had once served: “There should be a feeding surface in the silo of about five square feet per cow in the herd; a herd of thirty cows will then require 150 square feet of feeding surface, or the inside diameter of the silo should be 14 feet; for a herd of forty cows a silo with a diameter of 16 feet will be required; for fifty cows, a diameter of 18 feet; for one hundred cows, a diameter of 25 1/4 feet, etc.”
Everything you might want to know about silos, including how to build your own was provided in the book Modern Silage Methods, published in 1911, from which I read.
The colors of summer: Prairie flowers, photos from June, July, and August 2017