Letters: Silo filling brings back memories

We received many interesting letters in response to Sam Moore’s article on silo filling


| November 2011



Filling the Silo

Dangerous work environment

I was interested in Sam Moore’s article on filling silos (Farm Collector, September 2011). I grew up on a dairy farm in the 1950s outside Middletown, in eastern New York. We filled the silo each spring with chopped rye; it made great silage and the cows loved it. However, the smell was real bad. In the fall we filled the silo with corn. We had a one-row Papac chopper with its own engine. The blower was powered by a belt driven by our John Deere Model A.

When I was 14, my job was to unload the wagons into the blower. I would be all by myself unloading the wagons while everyone else was chopping or hauling wagons back and forth. I think today of the danger of a teenager working over top of an auger and the fan blowing the silage into the silo. One slip and I would have been in the silo along with the silage. But in those days we did not think of that: There was too much work to be done to think about what might happen.

I am now retired and live in Gonzales, Texas. My grandson and I restore tractors and sell tractor parts. My grandson has won several blue ribbons for his restored tractors at San Antonio and Houston stock shows.

Robert Day, Gonzales, Texas 

Sounds like a tall tale

After reading Sam Moore’s column on silo filling in Farm Collector, I am reminded of an old story. It was told by my father many times so it must be true.

The story goes that when it was silo-filling time, a neighbor of my father’s would take a horse, mule or donkey and push it through one of the doors of a wooden silo (these doors must have been very large). In order to stay alive, the animal would have to walk on the  silage as it came in. When the animal finally reached the top of the silo, the neighbor would shoot the poor animal and cut it up and throw it out of the silo and the silo would be well packed. This neighbor would also, in order to clean his chimney in the fall of the year, grab a goose, take it up to the top of the chimney and drop it in and as it came down the chimney with its wings flapping, the chimney would be clean but the goose would be pretty dirty.