There are various kinds of silos used for bulk storage. Understand the differences between them to know which silo works best for your storage needs.
Tower silos can be anywhere from 30 to 275 feet in height and 10 to 90 feet in diameter. These types of bulk silos can be made of various materials including wood, concrete, or steel. Staves are built in a cylinder-shaped structure with an opening at the bottom to unload. Tower silos tend to cost more than other silos, but they last longer and are convenient for storing goods through the winter. Because of its upright structure, the tower silo tends to pack goods better and requires less area to build.
Bunker silos are a type of bulk silo built long and horizontal, more like trenches. Instead of standing upright, they lay flat. Once the silo is filled, a plastic tarp is used to make the bunker airtight. Bunker silos tend to hold more than other types of silos and can store more diverse goods including farm equipment. Because the goods inside may vary, it usually requires more time and care when filling and packing the silo. The upside is that bunker silos tend to unload faster and are better suited for very large operations.
Silo bags provide a more flexible storage system using heavy plastic tubes. The tubes are typically 8 to 12 feet in diameter and vary in length. A machine is used to fill the tube and seal both ends, which is why the length can vary depending on what is being stored. While special equipment is needed for silo bags, they are great for storing things in large or small amounts. Because they are made of plastic, they must remain intact for them to work properly. Disposing of the plastic tubes after use also creates additional concern for the environment.
Silos are very popular for storing grain or silage in bulk. Consider what you need to store and how often you will be unloading it to determine which silo is best for you.