Spring Grove farm owners experience close call after silo collapses

Gerard Farm owner says no one was hurt after 40-year-old silo collapsed onto County Road 27 in Spring Grove
Silo Collapses

SPRING GROVE, Minn. (WKBT) – Some farmers in Spring Grove are done picking up damage from a silo that collapsed about a week ago. This silo’s fall was not planned and was something that could have resulted in a less fortunate outcome.

Farmers have nurtured their crops all summer, and the time for the fall harvest scene has come. Jeffery Gerard and his family in Spring Grove have begun the silage making process. A product that fills countryside skyscrapers, silos.

“Me and my brother here have been farming here … I suppose it’s 50 years,” Gerard said.

This year has kicked the gut of an industry that has enough to deal with day in and day out.

“The economy isn’t good,” he said.

Like most events this year, not much can surprise folks anymore. The conversation this month revolves around what is no longer standing on Gerard’s farm.

“We knew it was gonna happen,” Gerard said.  “We’ve filled that thing every year for 40 years.”

He thought it would continue to stand the test of time.

“It decided not to,” Gerard said laughing about the matter.

His brother noticed something was literally off the morning after they filled it with silage.

“He looked up and the silo was probably six, eight feet off-center,” Gerard said.

They had just filled the silo the first weekend of September, but it could no longer withstand the power of gravity.

This is their first problem. Another issue is County Road 27 which cuts right through their farm infrastructure. Driver safety became a bigger priority.

After four and a half hours of keeping a close eye, shutting down traffic, and bringing in local law enforcement and fire crews, the inevitable was fulfilled. The silo collapsed, a moment captured on video by family relative Darci Cleven, which now has more than 500,000 views on News 8 Now’s Facebook page.

“They don’t come down easy,” Gerard said.

A good thing, because his brothers were climbing on it just 24 hours prior to its demise.

“We would have put another five, six, seven loads on top of that,” he said.

It’s a bad break for Gerard’s farm, but his family is still here with a story to tell.

“It could have happened in the night and somebody could have got hurt,” Gerard said. “It’s one of those things you know if it had to happen, it didn’t go that bad.”

They were able to get the road cleared quickly after the silo fell.  The owners say the silage was picked up by another farm for use.