Fred Hatch, a farmer from Illinois, built what is believed to be the first American variant of the modern silo in 1873, after trying to figure out how to store grain on his family's farm and, at the same time, combat grain deterioration. Round silos can be constructed with curved concrete blocks, they can be poured into place to create a monolithic concrete structure, or they can be composed of prefabricated vertical concrete staves held in place by metal rings similar to those used in wooden silos. In any case, farmers used to order silos from a silo company, which in New York included Cobleskill's Harder Manufacturing Company and the Unadilla Silo Company. As a book on the subject predicted as early as 1883, “probably the largest number of silos built in this country are made of concrete, although, of course, at that time the author thought of pit silos rather than the enormous variety that would largely replace them.
In addition to the shape, silos could be built much higher, meaning that farms needed fewer silos to store grain.