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Slick Way To Seal Silos
How much spoiled silage did you have to throw away the last time you opened your upright silos?
If there was any spoilage at all, chances are it could have been prevented with Silo Cap Holders, a simple but effective way to seal upright silos. Designed and manufactured by Roy Bilyeu, Mason City, Iowa, the Holders are concrete slabs reinforced with steel rods. Each slab or Holder is 3 ft. long, 6 in. wide, 1 in. thick and curved to fit against the silo wall. As soon as you've finished filling the silo, you cover it with plastic, then lay the 3 ft. long slabs end to end along the inside wall to hold the plastic in place. As the silage settles, the concrete slabs settle with it to retain the air tight seal. The bottom edges of each slab are rounded so they don't tear the plastic as they settle with the silage.
When you get ready to open the silo, you simply lift off the slabs and hang them on the top edge of the silo. Each slab has a built-in hook about 10 in. long which makes it self-storing along the top edge of the silo where it's out of the way and doesn't interfere with the silo unloader.
"The slabs weigh about 30 lbs. so they're relatively easy to pick up and hang when you get ready to open the silo," explains Bilyeu.
Bilyeu notes that, "it doesn't work to fill the silo to within a few feet of the top, cover it over with plastic, and then blow a load or two of wet silage on top of the plastic to hold it down. The problem with this commonlyused system is that silage on top of the plastic eventually dries out and, as the silage column settles, there is nothing to hold the ends of the plastic down. Air gets in underneath to cause spoilage. This doesn't happen with the concrete Holders. They hold the plastic cap in place, and keep it tight as the silage settles. We recommend using 6 mil plastic," Biieyu explains.
Concrete Holders for silos up to 16 ft. in dia. are 3 ft. long and sell for right at $10 ea. A set of 10 to go around the inside wall of the silo runs right at $100. Slightly larger Holders are available for silos ranging from 18 to 24 ft. in dia.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roy Bilyeu, 20 Ninth St., Box 363, Mason City, Iowa 50401 (ph 515 424-4611).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #5