Methods of Storage

Harvest Losses

Storage Losses

Feeding Losses

Space Needs

Cost Considerations

Press Releases



• Concrete construction with sidewalls 8 to 20 feet
• Crops stored between 50% and 70% moisture
• Packing done with tractor
• Capacity is directly related to hours of packing and weight of tractor use
• Covered by plastic and usually weighed down with tires
• Feed removed by tractor or front end loader
• Storage loss ranges from 12% to 30%
• Bunker silos are extremely labor intensive
• Three people needed for harvesting
• The cost in covering the bunker is returned eight times in forage savings
• The greater the number of tires means less heating, more protein, and lower loss
• Bunker should be covered tire to tire. Only 27% of bunkers are covered in this manner.
• Needs to be sized correctly, if face removal rates are too slow excessive losses may occur
• Without proper compaction, covering, and face management losses can exceed 30%
• Feeding is most convenient with mobile TMR mixer
• This spreadsheet calculates the density of your bunker. It is related to filling time, packing tractor weight, bunker size, and dry matter percentage.


The bunker silo when maintained according to university regulations is a viable feed storage option. However, it is the opinion of CSI that few dairy farmers have the labor resources necessary to store feed effectively in a bunker silo. Before purchasing any storage system be sure to properly research all options.