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
October 21, 1999

Low 30's Signal Winter

Getting ready for winter is not the most desirable circumstance to think about. However, dealing with winterizing the watering units is easier now compared to the much lower temperatures we know are on the way. I will try to list a few tips to assist with reducing frozen fingers and frosted toes. The extended dry period has added to watering problems for many producers.

A major concern for many producers is having adequate water reserves in the water holding impoundments. This concern deserves definite consideration and planning of some type because water is a must regardless of the type of ration being provided. Keep in mind the calendar is continuing to progress and the number of days prior to frozen ground is being reduced every 24 hours.

One point of concern we always hear about is the problems with livestock watering facilities. If you are using frost-proof underground tanks of some type, either concrete or otherwise, now is the time to make sure these have adequate covering to prevent freezing. We frequently see tanks exposed due to livestock tramping throughout the summer or just natural dirt movement from normal weather conditions. Adding additional dirt or some type of insulation over the top and sides of these watering facilities and fencing livestock from this area will assist greatly with reducing the possibility of freezing.

Another must is checking water tanks for stray electricity. This creates a deadly problem for some producers because it is frequently an after-the-fact quandary. Making sure ground rods are properly maintained and all electric connections are clean and making proper contact is a must. This procedure requires only a small amount of your time and will reduce the possibility of a considerable economical loss. Another preventative management process is adding a second fuse in the electric line to the heating element. Fuse this second unit with the recommended amperage for operation of the heating unit. This will vary between watering facilities depending on the type of heating element and the size of watering unit.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - October 21, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT0102199.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004