Saturday, April 25, 2009

Water System for Rotational Grazing

There's Dante carrying some 1inch polypipe and Collin our VERY part time farm employee. I wish we could afford his help more often. He is a great worker.
We are setting up an above ground watering system for our rotational grazing. These cows are gonna eat some grass this year! We have 20 acres of grazing. It needs to be improved but we are working at it. We have some nice 2 year old aged manure to spread and always follow the cows and mow the paddocks after they rotate. We have made great strides but I look forward to the soil test results, so we can improve even more.
The guys laid out 2700ft of pipe yesterday. We still need to put in the troughs and pipe from the T's to the the troughs and hook up the float valves. The cows and I are going to be so spoiled! In the past we have pumped water out of our almost year round brook, into ONE centrally located water trough, but the last 2 summers we've run into an August drought and the brook just about dried up leaving us to cart water down to them on the back of the pick up. If you know how much water a dairy cow drinks on a hot day in August, you'll understand the inconvenience. The area around that water trough was receiving a lot of traffic as well. Plus a cow won't graze as well if she isn't getting enough water. We ran the pipe the whole way from our barn, where we tapped into the water we have there. After we wrap up this water project, we are fencing the whole 20 acres in 5-6 strands of high tensile electric fence. Right now we only have about 2-3 acres in permanent fence and all the rest is step in posts and polywire. It does not keep in our calves or a BULL. My goal is to have a lovely summer without 5:00am calls from the neighbors that the bull is on the highway. You know the saying, " Good fences make Good neighbors"

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