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Mobile Watering Systems For Rotational Grazing
When stockmen practice rotational grazing and move cattle every day or two, they need a way to provide water in multiple pastures.
  Jeff Brown, ranching with his father near Faith, South Dakota, made a portable water rig using an old Army 6 by 6 truck. The poly tank on the truck holds about 2,000 gal. and can be driven anywhere on the ranch to supply water. “We just drag some 1 1/2-in. high-density poly pipe around to fill the tank,” says Brown.
  At first he simply mounted the big tank on back of the Army truck. “With the sun shining on the yellow tank we would get hundreds of pounds of green slime in the tank during summer, so we covered the tank with a little shed, which keeps it cooler,” he says.
  “We also found an old military trailer at an auction and put tanks on that, too, with water troughs along the side. The trailer is always hooked to the truck; they never get separated. The tank on the trailer holds 750 gallons.”
  The troughs are fastened solidly to the trailer - the rear one down low for calves and the two side ones for cattle. “The trailer is air ride, so when we get to where we want the troughs to be we use a dump valve to let the air out, so the whole trailer sinks down to where the cattle can reach the tanks easier,” he explains.
  The sources for water are wells, with pipelines from the wells. The wells are about 200 ft. deep and run about 15 to 20 gal. a minute.
  “When cattle are drinking out of those troughs (with floats to shut off the water when they are full), the tanks stay hooked to the above-ground lines,” he says. “We have other water tanks also, and can tap into pipelines from the wells. On one of our leased places we have about 6 taps, to service 2200 acres. We just drag the poly pipe around to where we need it, in 1,000-ft. pieces. We can drag a pipe through the pasture with our Polaris Ranger and hook it up to the water rig on the trailer,” he explains.
  He also made several small watering trailers out of scrap metal, to haul smaller tanks around for smaller herds. “We have some tanks that can water 150 to 200 yearlings, and some smaller ones for smaller groups of cattle. We have big drains in the bottom of those tanks so when we need to move them we can just pull those tubes out and drain them, and then pull those tanks (on the small trailers) around the pastures with the Polaris Ranger. Empty, they are not very heavy,” he explains.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Brown, P.O. Box 13, Faith, S. Dak. 57626 (ph 605 441-5857).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3