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Beefs and Beliefs

Water system solutions come in many forms

Alan Newport Farm truck converted to portable water source
This old farm truck serves as a moveable water feast for Neil Dennis on his Saskatchewan grazing operation, watering several hundred animals from a small water line.
Meet demand with some combination of flow and storage, but don't get stuck on costly solutions.

Livestock water solutions are sometimes catch as catch can, because spending too much money can eliminate much of the profit from grazing improvements.

While I was at NCBA last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with Burke Teichert for a couple hours, and he noted a livestock water solution I hadn't really thought nor heard of before.

Teichert said the manager had calculated the gallons per minute of delivery through a relatively small line and thought he had enough in total gallons per day for his increased herd size. His larger herd resulted from combining herds to better use existing fencing.

Turns out his herd didn't have enough water. He made an error by estimating an entire day's water needs for the herd as a 24-hour need, but their consumption occurred almost entirely over a few hours through the day.

One solution would be to put in a much larger tank, but that would have a fairly high cost and would increase evaporative rates.

Instead, this manager apparently chose to put in a storage tank large enough to hold at least an entire day's water, letting it fill the stock tank directly through an adequately-sized line with a float valve, while the waterline could work day and night to fill and refill the storage tank. This provided sufficient volume and delivery without upsizing an undersized water system.

This is similar to a system used by Neil Dennis of Saskatchewan. He hooks his moderately-sized water line to a storage tank on the bed of a farm truck, which has a portable poly stock tank mounted on a truck-mounted lift at the back. Then he has the capacity to water his entire herd, and also essentially pays for only one water point -- the one on the truck.

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