Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
September 9, 1999

Water Runoff Needed Before Winter

We currently are seeing many ponds and water storage areas reaching a lower level than is desirable. Many standpipes are above the surface of the water. This indicates that the holding basins are below the desired level and the amount of water is drastically reduced when we compare to structures that contain their full holding potential.

The exceedingly dry season does provide a time when any correction or repair needed to improve the storage basin for the future can be completed. One improvement that many producers overlook is building a terrace to increase the number of acres providing runoff to divert additional water into the holding area. This may take the form of a temporary or permanent type of addition to the present structure. Terraces of this type do not require much elevation and can be crossed easily with farm equipment. If you need additional area to divert runoff into a holding basin this is one quick way to achieve it. If they are properly installed they will work in conjunction with the overflow from many holding basins.

Another method that works is to capture the runoff from the roof of machine sheds, barns, hay storage structures and other buildings if the location of the structure or building is convenient. This is a quick source of water runoff and is available to be utilized at many farmsteads.

Several producers are looking at alternative water sources. Some of these include wells that have not been utilized as a water source for some time. A water test from these sources indicating the level of nitrates is advisable.

Nose pumps will work satisfactorily for many producers. This is a temporary method that can be easily installed. Cattle learn rather quickly to pump their own water. We have seen solar pumps work under certain circumstances. This method requires larger storage areas than many producers desire due to the limited power source under dark and cloudy environment. Several of these methods work for small numbers of livestock (up to 25 head) but fail to provide an adequate amount of water for larger producers. Present day products also assist with the availability of moving water to the livestock. Plastic burst-proof pipe, quick couplers, and portable tanks are all a part of modern technology that is available to livestock producers today.

Several producers have access to springs. This source is generally forgot about until drought situations persist. Oftentimes these are excellent sources of water if the spring locations are properly developed and maintained. Information is available providing diagrams and hints to develop this source of water for livestock.

In the meantime perhaps additional rainfall will occur before winter to improve water supplies prior to freezing of the ground.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - September 9, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT090999.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004