Posted 11/30/2023 11:08 (#10503638 - in reply to #10502704) Subject: RE: Educate me on silage bunkers/pads
What is age and condition of the silos? If still good condition and structurally sound, use them. If needing relined and perhaps a reinforcing concrete wall 6 inches thick by 4 feet high poured all way around them at the bottom to make them safe for more years of use, then you've got to consider the cost of that versus the cost of a concrete pad large enough to store the same tonnage as those three 20 X 60's . Charts I have seen state approx. 450 tons per silo ( 1350 tons total).
Charts below show capacities of bags, walled bunkers and piles. Consider the square footage areas that would need to be hard-surfaced with either concrete or asphalt for the bunker or pile . Storage area for bags could perhaps suffice with a well compacted graveled surface but still at a cost. Considering that ready mix concrete delivered is around $150/yard or more (here), calculate the square footage area that is needed to store your silage tonnage in bunker or pile. Divide by 81 if 4 inches thick or 54 if 6 inches thick to get the quantity of concrete needed. Pour it yourself or hire it done?
What would be the cost of enough bags to store the same amount as you are putting through the silos? Also cost of bagger rental? Cost of those bags and rental of bagger I suspect would be more each year than upkeep/repairs on silo unloaders. Cost of sheet of plastic cover for a pile would be more than for a bunker ( pile covers more area). Could you keep the face of a pile or bunker fed fast enough to stay ahead of spoilage?
Are you now chopping your own crop or hiring it done? Lots of things to consider.