What's in your silo?

Donald M Lance lancedm at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu May 9 04:53:44 UTC 2002

on 5/8/02 2:55 PM, Beverly Flanigan at flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU wrote:

> (snip)  It was also very nutritious for cows in the
> winter, when many were "dry" (i.e., pregnant).  Hay, straw, and alfalfa
> were stored in the barn, and grain was stored dry (accidental fermentation
> led to spoilage) in separate buildings called granaries.  Dry corn on cobs
> was stored in corncribs, with open slats for airing and drying (like
> cribs).  Ah, the memories. . . .
> At 01:48 PM 5/8/02 -0400, you wrote:
>> No, it's not the latest nonfiction self-help title.
>> (snip)
>> Currently, I'm looking at silo, which AHD and pretty much every other
>> American dictionary restricts to "fodder", or "fodder or forage". W3 has a
>> chiefly British sense which talks of grain; and the OED has a grain sense,
>> leading one to think that the grain as opposed to fodder sense is British.
>> That said--I haven't combined soybeans since I was about 13, but it's my
>> dim recollection that my grandparents' silos held grain before schlepping
>> it down to the local elevator. I distinctly remember conveying grain from
>> the granary to a truck, but I don't remember putting grain in or out of a
>> silo, so I could be completley wrong. Furthermore, I can't find any US
>> evidence to the contrary. Hay we kept in haylofts.
>> So, I ask those of you from farm areas in the US: are grains stored only
>> in granaries? Are silos restricted to silage, or are grains stored there,
>> too?
>> -- Steve Kleinedler

I Googled for "grain silo" and got 4430 hits. The first item was a group of
Canadian musicians. #2 in Australia.  #3 in Nebraska, #4 in Israel, #5-8 in
the US. #9 in France. #10 in Michigan.

When I Googled for "wheat silo," none of the first 12 were USian -- England,
Austria, Turkey, Australia, Canadian musical group, Greece, Australia (2),
India, reference in a Minneapolis newsletter to a wheat silo in Iraq,

Googling got "rice silo" came up with #1 in Louisiana, 6 references in
Thailand, one in Minnesota, and a research project by a Korean graduate
student at Cornell.

I had better things to do tonight, but this is what I did.  It appears that
there may indeed be a stronger tendency for 'grain silo' in its various
forms to be British usage, but not exclusively.

I wanted to clear up one of Beverly's points.  A cow does not have to be
pregnant to be dry.  A dry cow does not produce milk -- period -- for a
variety of reasons.  We didn't turn our cows dry until several weeks (I
don't remember how many) before the calf was due.  The quantity and the
taste of the milk change as the birthing date approaches.  There's an
optimal time to let the cow go dry (simply by not milking her) so that her
system makes its necessary adjustments to feed the newborn calf with
wholesome new milk.  For a couple of weeks after the calf is born, the cow's
milk isn't good for human consumption (taste, texture).  Then the milk
gradually becomes good for people as well as calves.  The cow I milked for 7
years was named Snooks, and my brother milked Doris.  Snooks had a bad
post-partem period after the birth of her fifth calf, Charlie, and she
seemed to blame me for her misfortune.  (I'm sure she didn't blame me for
Charlie, just for her terrible mood.)


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