TWO GRAIN SILOS were recently installed on the Eugene Simmons farm along Rt. 219 in Hillsboro. Rising toward the sky at 60 and 80 feet, the silos will provide an enormous amount of storage. Pictured, l to r: Dustin and Daniel Simmons. B. Nottingham photo

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

People traveling south of Hillsboro on Rt. 219 may have noticed something growing on Eugene Simmons’ farm of late. No, those giant blue tubes aren’t some sort of new plant, they are the new grain silos.

Earlier this month, Simmons and his two sons, Dustin and Daniel, purchased two Harvestore silos to be constructed on the property to increase storage capacity for their crops.

“It’s something that we have always talked about doing,” Dustin said. “We have different types of silos already on our farm, but they aren’t as efficient. We grow corn, soy beans and hay – all for feed for our cattle. We don’t have very much pasture for our cattle, so in the summer when we need those fields for our crops, we have to make sure that our cows can be fed. We used to store all of our grain in bags, but that just doesn’t work as good. Not only do we have to waste an acre of land storing all of those bags, but they just aren’t efficient enough. If they get a hole in them, then whatever is inside is ruined. If you happen to find a hole, it could still be too late. Too much air could have already started the decay process.

“After many months of searching, we settled on two silos from Greenwood Silo, a company out of Wisconsin. We got a used twenty foot by eighty foot from Greenwood, and we bought a twenty foot by sixty foot from a farm down in Lewisburg. These Harvestore silos are very efficient in the way that they store the forages. They are oxygen-limiting bottom door silos, that remove all of the air from the silo, thus keeping the forage as close to harvest as you can get. The sixty foot silo will house two-hundred eighty to four-hundred tons of corn silage at fifty to sixty percent moisture. And the eighty foot silo will hold five-hundred to six hundred tons of haylage at fifty to fifty-five percent moisture. This will be a great way to store our forage because we aren’t wasting any space. Everything is going up, and that means more room for crops.”

After ordering the silo, it’s as easy to put together as building blocks. Everything comes shipped ready to be bolted into place.

“My sons have always enjoyed working on things,” Simmons said last week. “We hired a few CST certified workers, but we are mostly doing the project ourselves. And after we get it all put together, we can work on the silo to keep it operational for years to come, and we won’t be wasting all that plastic that we used to store our forages in. It’s just an all around better solution for us.”

Traveling Rt. 219 through the farmland of the Little Levels, the silos are easily seen from the highway.

But look close.

One silo has the American flag and the United States Marine Corps flag painted on it, while the other has the West Virginia flag displayed.

Brandon Nottingham may be contacted at blnottingham@pocahontastimes.com