Silos

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Anonymous

I need help! We are ready to make an offer on this farm except for one uncertainty (well, ok, there ARE other uncertainties, but this one, we don't know anything about, which makes it more uncertain!) the silo.

It is a Harvestore. 20X80 with the original unloader (Goliath). It only has 500 hours on it (makes me go Hmm...500 hours in 20+ years?!?!?!).

I've searched, read, etc all I can on Harvestores and their rather mixed reputation, but I haven't found anyone who acutally uses one, except the current owner and he hasn't used it in 8 years. Of course, I'd like a more objective opinion than they guy trying to sell.

The unloader is broken. I am not sure if I should get a new one, rebuilt, just fix it, or abandon the whole bottom unloader altogether and go for the top unloader. I can't find what the repair/maint. costs run a year (I think they might be high), and if the sucker is even worth using or should I convert it into housing my teens (someone actually did that).

If anyone has any practical experience with these, I sure would appreciate any advice/suggestions/dire warnings! Thanks

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OP
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Anonymous

Harvestor silos are/ were a good silo, but a poor investment. I knew a slaesman for them a few years back. Nothing wrong with the design, but the price compared to capacity was terrible.

Best use for them is high moisture grain. You can buy tough corn, barley whatever, at 25% moisture and store it very well. To get this high moisture grain you need to buy straight off the combine. Too much cash out for a small operation to buy the whole year's grain in advance. You could also store dry grain in there, if there are no other bins on the property.

Harvestors were designed to store silage crops, but capacity was too small. If you had the equipment to do silage, you could likely fill a dozen silos, but couldn't afford to buy them. Pits are much cheaper and do as good if not better.

What value it adds to the land is unclear, it depends on the rest of the operation. The owner having basically abandoned it suggests he placed little value on it no matter what he paid for it.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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