Everything You Need to Know About Silo Construction

row of silos

Storage silos were developed in the late 19th century as a primary tool that farmers can use for the bulk storage of corn, grains, and other materials. Today, silo construction remains a crucial aspect of agricultural settings, providing essential storage solutions.

In their primordial years, silos were built using stone, brick, wood, or galvanized steel—all crucial components that helped farmhands till the lands and keep their reap as best as possible. As the number of farmers grew over time, it was inevitable to see everlasting development by the 1900s. Today, professional silo contractors play a vital role in constructing and maintaining these essential agricultural structures, ensuring their durability and functionality for farmers across various regions.

In the early 20th century, agricultural innovators used concrete to modernize storage silos and turn them into more effective, long standing structures. And once concrete further improved the capabilities of silos, making them capable of carrying and storing more than corn, the agriculture industry used them for the storage of:

  • Ash
  • Coal
  • Lime
  • Aggregate

To this day, storage silos are being used to keep an assortment of different products. Once you get to the process of building your own silo from the ground up, you’ll eventually ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is it better to use concrete or steel for building a silo? And;
  2. What’s the difference between jumpform and slipform?

Why Concrete Is the Supreme Material

In the past few decades, both concrete and steel were considered prime materials for building silos because of their comparative advantages. However, concrete silos have emerged as the preferred choice for all the right reasons.

Generally, concrete is favored over steel because it is a superior cost-saving solution that can resist internal abrasive wear while withstanding much higher levels and forms of pressure. This is because concrete is mixed and then formed while wet to ensure that the resulting shape is put together without additional processes or treatments. 

Another reason many builders have opted to stick with concrete for their storage silos is that they are far less costly to maintain. As opposed to steel options that see immense levels of corrosion (especially in areas with a lot of moisture), concrete silos bear less need for regular repair, internal fixes, cleaning, and painting—leading to immense savings! 

Telling Jumpform and Slipform Apart

Now that you know you’re better off with concrete when building a silo, choosing between a jumpform or slipform format is also vital. To help you understand which construction style is more appropriate for your needs, we’ve put together a basic guide for each: 


This particular type of silo construction, known as jumpform silo, is regarded as an economical choice due to its efficient setup process. Within a week, it can be set up and ready for the first pour of concrete. What makes the jumpform silo framework even more remarkable is that it’s reusable and takes just a few days to set up after delivery to the job site. This is an immense plus on top of the fact that costs are reduced as well! 


Currently, the slipform silo is regarded as the best type of construction for projects over 65’ in diameter. They are formed from a continuous, monolithic pour of the concrete walls. This process, in turn, creates a smooth, continuous outer appearance which is achieved with an arduous continuous pour that necessitates a 24 hours per day schedule—leading to even higher costs as a compromise.


When building the best storage silo for your company or firm’s needs, it’s vital to remember that you should invest in the best materials and construction methods to deliver what you’re looking for. By taking the key points mentioned above, you can take the right steps moving forward to ensure that you have the best outcome possible during your project! 

Borton is one of the highest-rated silo contractors in Hutchinson, KS. We have over four decades of experience in the industry, and we always get the job done right. Get in touch with us today!

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