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Water on Rented Pasture  RSS feed

 
Stephanie Bradshaw
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Hi,  What suggestions do you have to run water to a rented piece of land?  There is a farm half a mile down the road from us that is for rent.  There is not a water source available except for a couple of really small ponds that dry up pretty quickly.  We are interested in grazing cattle here - but unsure how what to do about water.  Any suggestions? 
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Stephanie: Welcome to the forum. There is an option in the profile section of the forum to add details about where you live.

Around here, in the desert, water rights are carefully regulated and closely guarded. Many fields here have water rights, and/or infrastructure that has been in place for 150 years. A good way to determine what water is available to your proposed field is to ask the people that you expect to be renting from.  In areas not served by irrigation systems, where water is desired for animals,  water may be carried to the site. For example, a city where I lived in Missouri sold water: 55 gallons for 25 cents. I'd pull up my truck, put a 2" hose into a barrel, and put a quarter into the mechanism. Then stay out of the way, cause it really came out fast. In Nevada, city water systems are required to give free water to people that need it, so there are faucets around town. Takes a long time to fill up a barrel with a garden hose though, so while they are technically complying with the law, they don't have to make it easy to acquire lots of water.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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If you plan to haul water, you'll need to calculate if you'll actually be able to haul enough per day for the number of cattle you plan to stock.  Sources say 1 gallon per 100 pounds of body weight, with lactating cows requiring twice as much.  Also plan on some splashing and wastage, and extra needed during hot weather.

 
Ray Moses
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Location: Brighton, Michigan
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At one of my pastures the surface water does dry up and I simply haul water with a 275 gallon tank. I know one guy I rent from who used a water wagon with a float  valve on a hose leading to a water tank, he watered 100 head of cattle that way. The pasture I haul to I only keep about 20 yearlings there and I usually only have to haul water for a month or so and it is a big inconvenience and I am contemplating pounding a real shallow well and using a 12 volt pump to fill water. On one of my large pastures I do use a 12 volt bilge pump hooked up to batteries and solar panels and turned on with a timer to pump water out of a lake under the ice up to a tank and I am thinking if you could dig a well in the wet spots you might be able to make that work. 
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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We haul water with a 275 gallon tank as well.  It's not that big of a deal to go out with the water tank and refill for us since we do daily moves from one paddock to the next and will move the water about once a week to keep up with the cows.  We're already out with the cows every day so hauling water doesn't add that much more time.  It all depends on what kind of management you plan on doing with the rented farm.  For me I would mob graze the property, moving at least daily, integrate those paddocks rotations into my own property (one large herd), and haul water in when I needed.
 
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