The Van Trump Report

“Greenwood Silo” Introduces a Fresh Approach to Feed and Forage Storage

Silos are one of the most recognizable architectural features of rural America. While they dot the landscape across the entire country, they also come with a host of issues that many farmers think make them more trouble than they’re worth. Martin Reiff, a long-time Wisconsin dairy farmer and past president of the International Silo Association, has spent nearly his entire life thinking about ways to improve the traditional silo system. Those ideas are now part of his new-hybrid monolithic silo called “The Greenline” that aims to revolutionize the grain storage system.

Reiff’s experience with silo’s goes beyond his own family’s dairy farm. Reiff and his brother James started off doing a dismantle and reassembly job on a Harvestore low-oxygen tower silo for a relative in 2006. Faced with the task of taking down the silo, in the few short winter months between the end of November to mid-February, they designed and built a complete jacking system to take down and rebuild Harvestore silos in their shop with very basic tools like a stick welder, band saw, and cutting torch.

Other local farmers noticed and started asking or inquiring about employing the brothers’ services. That’s when they realized there was a real need for their expertise that could maybe even become a viable business. In 2012, James stepped away from the silo business and Martin became the sole owner of Greenwood Silo.  

After coming to the realization that he truly enjoyed talking to and interacting with people, much more than the solitary life that came with dairy farming, Martin in 2015 gave up diary farming in order to dedicate all his attention to Greenwood Silo.

“When I first began working with Harvestore low-oxygen tower silos, I thought they were a joke,” Reiff said. But the more he talked to farmers and heard their criticisms, “Then I began to realize the possibilities of sealed vertical-storage bottom-unloading storage systems. I knew there was something to the first-in/first-out feeding system in the preservation of expensive crops.”

There was also lots of room for improvement, including slow unloading times, the inability to properly seal and maintain low-oxygen and moisture levels, as well as their high maintenance. Reiff and his team have developed a number of innovative solution to these and other issues, including a tapered and beveled stainless steel trough design, which increases the capacity of the unloader. They also developed a side filling system to eliminate the need to climb a silo to fill it, and a proprietary alarm system that warns when the silo is within a few feet of full.

After some two decades of development, Reiff has also unveiled “The Greenline,” a hybrid monolithic pre-cast concrete vertical storage system. Reiff says The Greenline combines the best attributes of both low-oxygen towers and concrete stave silos. Greenwood installed the first Greenline system in 2023 on a farm in Wisconsin. The company has posted a couple of grain test samples taken from the new silos on its website HERE.

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