Farm Talk

Area Farm & Ranch News

September 11, 2012

Watering systems that do more than just provide water

Parsons, Kansas — Nearly 120 visitors were on hand for the Kansas State University Bressner Pasture Field Day held recently in rural Woodson County.

The Bressner Pasture, which totals over 600 acres, was donated to the Kansas State University Foundation in 1988 by Willie J. Bressner without restrictions.

Mr. Bressner did, however, request that the pasture be utilized as an experimental project to study the preservation and use of native grasses.

Over the years a number of research projects have been conducted on the Bressner site.

The main project was a seven-year research project that focused on patch-burn versus full burn pastures each spring and subsequent cattle performance and plant composition changes.

It’s no secret, when doing research with cattle, forage is necessary. However, another necessary element is water.

As researchers continue to find better ways to grow forage and add gain to livestock, water quality and quantity have become another essential element according to Herschel George, K-State watershed specialist.

“We have worked for years to get producers to see the benefits of getting cattle away from streams or ponds,” George explained. “After the past couple years and the weather we have experienced we are finally getting people to see the importance of it.”

According to him, cattle that wade through mud get stuck and those cattle wading in ponds and streams urinate and defecate in the water, causing unneeded and unwanted levels of bacteria in the water.

In order to keep ponds and streams clean and to control pond dam erosion the water quality specialist recommends installing tire tanks.

“Tire tanks provide a clean supply of water without the concerns of having cattle in the water source,” George said. “We have seen after installing tire tanks in pastures with streams through them that 80 percent of the drinking is done at the tank instead of the stream.”

George recommends installing a 30.5X32 tire for tanks.

“A tire this size will hold 150-200 gallons and six cows can drink out of it at once,” he said.

Visitors at the recent Bressner Pasture Field Day witnessed a tire tank this size that George had installed below one of the ponds.

According to him, during the fall of 2011, the pond was cleaned with a dozer and a six inch primary spillway pipe was installed along with a two-inch livestock watering pipe.

“With the growing cost of cleaning ponds we decided to fence-off the pond reducing erosion and wear and tear on the pond,” George said.

At the site, George recommends using geotextile and gravel under the tank and the drinking area to keep the ground solid.

“After running the lines and installing the tank we added a valve and a float in the tank to control the tank at the desired level for livestock,” he explained. “An overflow line was added to keep the site dry and to aid in freeze prevention during the winter.”

Although George is sold on using tire tanks he told visitors at the field day that they are not the only option.

“Another way to keep ponds clean and erosion free is to use a limited access approach for drinking animals,” he said.

The Bressner site features two limited access pond entry systems.

One of the systems used semi-trailer treads in a pattern to allow the cattle to have access to the stream.

“The treads were cut then straightened out and screwed together allowing the cattle to walk on them to the stream,” George said.

The second system also used semi-trailer tires. This time, however, one of the sidewalls was cut out of the tire and they were placed on geotextile as closely as possible with the open side up. Gravel was then added to the site to fill the tires up.

“Our thought was that the rock would fill the tires, preventing the gravel from working downhill off of the geotextile into the pond,” George explained.

After the geotextile was laid and covered with gravel a floating electric exclusion fence was built to only allow a certain area of access to the pond.

“All of these systems have proved to keep cattle out of the ponds and off the pond dams while at the same time giving them a cleaner drinking source,” George concluded.£

1
Text Only
Area Farm & Ranch News
  • henbit.jpg Cool weather slows weed burndown

    Weed control at spring planting, an increasing challenge with herbicide-resistant weeds, presents extra concerns when temperatures stay low, day and night. Weather bears watching more than usual.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farm bill brings questions for producers

    As a professor in Kansas State University's Department of Agricultural Economics, Art Barnaby has given countless presentations and fielded even more questions about managing risk over the years. And the questions continue as details of the new farm bill unfold.

    April 15, 2014

  • sericea.jpg Controlling weeds and brush in pastures

    I’ve always wondered about the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. That may be true, but what about the weeds and brush on that side of the fence, are they greener too? Spring has arrived, and along with it, the time has come to start thinking about weed and brush control in our range and pasture land.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • PEDV concerns send futures soaring

    Uncertainty surrounding total swine herd losses to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has sent lean hog futures for spring and summer contracts to record-high levels, but it's possible the markets have overreacted, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist says.
    PEDV is a virus of swine that is fatal to nearly 100 percent of infected piglets that are less than 2 weeks old. There is no vaccination or treatment for the disease, which poses no threat to human health or food safety.

    March 25, 2014

  • PED virus spreading rapidly on Missouri farms

    A fast-spreading virus that can kill 80 percent of piglets that contract it is rapidly spreading across Missouri hog farms, wiping out entire nurseries in some cases.
    Porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed 4 million to 5 million pigs nationwide, or about 4 percent of the pigs that would go to market later this year.

    March 18, 2014

  • Invasive species conference set March 25, OKC

    We have all had unwanted and even uninvited guests overstay their welcome in our homes. That anxious feeling of wanting those people to leave without knowing how to ask is all too familiar.
    It is a similar feeling many property owners in Oklahoma are experiencing with invasive species of insects, plants and animals. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is hosting the Oklahoma Invasive Species Conference March 25 to discuss this issue.

    March 11, 2014

  • Debbie_Blythe2.jpg Morris Co. woman advocates for agriculture

    When Debbie Lyons-Blythe tells her story, there’s no question about authenticity — she is a cattlewoman-farm mom.
    And, she’s the 2012 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year.
    The White City, Kan., farm advocate kept 210 attendees’ complete attention during the 580 WIBW Farm Profit Conference last week at Paxico.

    March 4, 2014 2 Photos

  • soybean-auger.jpg Check tax laws on deferred grain sales

    Grain producers using a calendar tax year and the cash method of accounting often use deferred payment contracts to defer payment of grain sales into the following tax year.

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manure Expo to be held in Springfield

    The North American Manure Expo has always been about showcasing manure management and application equipment and educating farmers and custom applicators on managing and applying manure. Now it’s time for manufacturers to show-off their equipment and latest inventions in the Show-Me State.

    February 18, 2014

  • MU-Eldon-Cole.jpg Eldon Cole honored for 50 years with Extension

    Back in 1964, Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight championship, the first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line, the 24th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and Eldon Cole began his career with University of Missouri Extension.

    February 11, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content