Farms, fields, crops and concrete may seem like a game list for “one of these things is not like the others.” It is surprising how many farm structures are made of concrete. Floors for pole barns is one obvious use, but there are many more less obvious ones. Think dairy farm.
Drainage canals are important parts of barn floors when water and other liquids must have a place to go. Rivulets of mud and who knows what else are avoided whenever possible. Wood floors would not stand up to this type of use, especially on a daily basis all year round. The dairy barn may have a milk-transfer room, and it is always concrete, glass and steel to keep it as sterile as possible.
Many barns house tractors and other heavy equipment and need the sturdiest floors available. Guess what that means. Foundations for barns and other outbuildings may be made of concrete, too, and water storage structures are frequently made of this material. Wood and water don’t mix in these settings, and metal rusts, so concrete fills the bill.
Silos need firm foundations, even if made of metal, and grain is heavy. It’s not like farmers can afford second chances on expensive buildings, so they should hold up the first time and be available when needed. Feed storage for cattle needs to be dry and dependable, making concrete a good choice.
Columns and beams in big farm buildings may be concrete as well and hopefully less likely to catch fire. A barn or large shed full of hay is always a fire concern. Animals need to be protected from fire, too, and concrete floors may decrease the chances of flames taking hold.
Different “recipes” for mixing concrete exist for various kinds of forms. Columns may need a mix that has more or less of something than floors. Concrete that sits on soil may need something different from concrete that sits on more concrete. It may be wise to skip the DIY and call the concrete company to get it right the first time. Farms and concrete do go together.