Springfield cattleman looks to Hanson Silo Company for money-saving silage bunker feed system


Jim Anderson of Springfield really likes the smooth finish on his Hanson Silo fenceline feed bunks. He said cattle don’t like to eat off a rough surface because it hurts their tongues. They are also moveable and if one should break you only have to replace a small section at a fraction of the cost it would take to replace an unfixable and unmovable poured bunker.

Ask any successful farmer or rancher how they got that way and they’ll most likely tell you they keep a keen eye on their operations to get the best buy for their buck and to maintain maximum time-saving efficiency. After all, time is money. There’s an old saying: “Sometimes you need to spend a buck to make a buck.”

In essence, that’s exactly what Jim Anderson, who runs a large colored cattle operation on his family farm near Springfield, Minnesota did, and by doing so he has seen a significant return on his dollar over the years. His primary goal was to have better feed quality and savings on spoilage.

Anderson called on Hanson Silo of Lake Lillian, a well-established company that has been meeting the demands of agriculture customers since 1916, to customize his feedlot operation. His multiple Hanson Silo bunkers save him time, but more importantly the bunkers literally have paid for themselves every other year by saving against spoiled feed and dry matter loss.

The way Anderson handled silage in the past was a lot of work. “It was way too labor intensive too much work,” said Anderson. “We were piling it on the ground and we’d get 20 percent wasted feed without proper covering.With feed prices as crazy as they are now and a pretty good size herd, that adds up to a lot of money.”

Anderson has been in the cattle business since the late 1960s and has seen farming evolve in many ways over the years. In the early days they used augers and bunks and fed out of the silo, cold winter days sometimes meant chipping frozen silage out with a pick axe. You had to have twice the help around and it often took a half day just to feed as many as 500 cattle, Anderson said you can now do it in 30 minutes.

What used to take a half day to feed a large herd can now be loaded in 15 minutes and a short time later delivered to the pre-cast concrete J Bunk feeders with his wagon delivery system. His feed stays fresher and longer in the tightly covered bunkers, resulting in zero spoilage.

“With this (Hanson Silo) system it only takes me 10 to 15 minutes to load, where it took two hours in the old days. Everything is right together so it takes no time at all. It used to be 80 percent labor, now it’s 80 percent bookwork. I spend three hours a week checking on commodity prices,” said Anderson.

Anderson has multiple Hanson Silo bunkers and also has the Hanson Fenceline Feed Bunks, he noted that you can never have enough when the feed prices drop and sometimes if you watch the markets that can result in half price corn. He has commodity sheds where he keeps his protein distillers and other nutritional additives, which he uses to mix and make what he calls a “hot dish.” “I like the smaller bunker silos, they are easier to cover. I like them 40 ft. wide, otherwise you can’t keep the feed as fresh. I have a couple 12-footers, but prefer the 8-footers,” explained Anderson. To ensure against wasted feed Anderson says he covers his bunks air tight and keeps the face fresh, he also uses a nutritional preservative to keep the feed fresh longer. Otherwise you get spoilage and with that you get mold and with that you get sick cattle.

It only took Hanson Silo about a day and a half to set up Anderson’s bunker system. The sections line up easily, with key and keyway and then they are ready to go. Anderson said you hear a lot about “poured bunks,” but he advises against them because once you get them, they are there forever, you can’t move or rearrange them and if you break one you can’t fix it. You don’t have that problem with Hanson feed bunks that come in sections. And if one should break it can easily be replaced at a fraction of the cost.

“I have quite a few strings of Hanson Fence line Feed Bunks that are 12.5 feet long. They don’t bust, and you can drive right up to them.They are straight bunks and cattle can’t throw feed out because they have a high back. They also have a very smooth finish. Cattle like a smooth finish, a rough finish can hurt their tongue. If calfves get in the J Bunks, we have to lift them out because they are so smooth,” said Anderson.

Anderson said Hanson Silo was his first and only go-to choice. He knew of them since he was a little boy. “They were always part of the family operation and always easy to work with. My dad bought all his silos from them for years. Hanson Silo is a hometown Minnesota-grown company. If you ever have any problems you know where they are at.”

“I enjoy the multi-generation customers like Jim with his cattle feedlot silage system. We take pride in knowing that we can help anyone streamline their farming operation and show increased profits. We manufacture and sell products to give producers premium quality feed. That’s what we at Hanson Silo are all about,” said Mike Hanson, a fourth generation director of business development.

Hanson Silo Company gives you a choice

You have the choice of 5′, 6′, 8′, 10′, 12′ or 16′ high panels, either L-shaped or T-shaped. These concrete bunkers are extremely durable and last much longer than wood or steel storage units.

“Since our first silo went up in 1916, the company has continued to be involved with many aspects of agriculture and agricultural improvement products over a span of 97 years and four generations. We’re proud to say that we will continue to follow in our family founders footsteps by offering better products like our silo bunkers and fenceline feed bunks at the best price with the lowest upkeep,” said Hanson.

“My bunkers pay for themselves every other year by saving against spoiled feed and dry matter loss.” Jim Anderson