Grant Morgan with Poky Feeders

(Grant Morgan) My name is Grant Morgan. I’m with Poky Feeders in Scott City Kansas. We are currently a 75,000-head commercial feedyard; 95% of the cattle here being owned by somebody else. Most of the cattle here would come from about 17 to 22, 23 different states. Today, I’m here to talk to you about our water recycling system that we’ve been putting on a four-year plan. We started in 2014, basically what we’re trying to capture, is all the overflow water. Most feedyards in our state predominantly are continuous flow water tanks, specifically in our area. Continuous flow water tank, what that means when the temperature in the water gets to a certain temperature, basically freezing level, our tanks run a pick out valve that will turn on and automatically allow water to continually flow in. Not off of our float, how they’re typically adjusted. In the wintertime, our water when it gets to freezing level, our tanks will continually flow, and will allow the water not to freeze. That water eventually ends up in our lagoons, which we capture that water and eventually pump it on the irrigation pivots and growing crops. Typically we grow cane silage, some triticale that we graze and chop in the fall and spring as well. We currently have approximately about 600 pens, and about 550 water tanks. Most of our tanks are 75, 80-gallon water tanks and have a three-inch standpipe in the center of those tanks that allow the water, if the tank is overflowing, to flow through that drain pipe, and through our drain line that eventually makes it into our lagoon. Or when we’re washing water tanks once a week, that standpipe can be pulled out and the tanks can be cleaned. Typically, on a given day we’ll have several tank plugs, what we refer to them as, that are missing, or pulled out of the tank by cattle, being curious animals. What I’ll show you right now, is this is what we call our south section of the feedyard. Our south section is based on 20,000 head. It’s the third system we put in. It’s actually just completed in about two weeks ago. Basically, all of our feed alleys run north and south. Waterlines and our drain lines go north and south as well. Both of them are about two feet apart going through our pen. The waterline goes into the tank; the drain line comes out of the tank. All of our drain lines here, drain all of the south side of this section of the yard. Basically going to this ditch, which in turn funnels into this lagoon here. With our water recycling system, what we do is we draw or we lay an eight-inch line surveyed out, so all of the water will naturally flow back to this point right here. It’s the eight-inch line that looks like a horseshoe that goes around this section of the yard and comes back to right here. It captures all of our drain water. I’ll take you over to the system itself now. What we’re at right now is what we call our collection tank. Our collection tank is actually 17 feet deep, and about eight foot by eight foot. Basically, there are two pumps inside of this tank itself. There’s a pump that will send the water into our recycling building where the water is actually recycled. Then there’s a trash pump so when we want to clean this tank, we have valves that are set to put fresh water in the tanks so we can clean it when we see fit. Basically, the water comes into here and as you can probably hear there’s water running today, because there’s probably a tank running over. The water will come into this pit. There’s a sensor in this pit, that when the water gets to a certain level, our system will kick on. There’s also a free board leveling here if the power goes out, and the trash pump doesn’t kick on. Water will automatically go back into the lagoon. It goes in this pit; it’ll fill up to a certain level. The system will kick on, and it’ll start the recycling process.
(Grant Morgan) So we’ve talked about already of how we actually capture the water and at this point I’ll show you how we actually recycle it and put it back into our loop system for the cattle to drink. When the water gets to that certain level in the concrete tank, our pump will kick on out there and the water will be sent through one of these two media sand filters. Silica sand that’s up to about this level in the tank, the water will be forced through there, it goes through the sand media filter, at that point it goes into what we call our clean water tank. When the clean water tank gets to a certain level, which is about to right here, there’s a sensor on it as well, that will turn this pump on here, this pump will pull the water out of that tank, it’ll run it through a UV light and then at that point we’re back into our loop system here. Our entire feedyard is all tied together; all 17 wells we utilize are tied into what we call a loop system. So this is actually set up on a pressure switch so the pressure in the yard does not dictate when this water kicks on or off. If we’re having wells run and they’re almost at their limit when the pressure is high enough it’ll shut those wells off, it’ll still pull this water first and it’ll shut wells off at that point if it needs to. Currently like we discussed, this is our third unit we started in 2014, put it on our west side of the yard. Last year we finished one on our east side of the yard and now at the south section of the yard which captures about 82% of the water or cattle pens that we have here. Next year in 2017, we plan on capturing the oldest part of the yard is our middle section. It’s the toughest for us to capture but we’re planning on tackling that next year. So we should have 100% of the yard recycled at that point. Some statistics: in 2016 so far utilizing two units, our west section and east section which make up 55% that have ran so far to August 30th is right at 8.6 million gallons we recycled this year. In 2015, we only had one full system on which is 23% of the yard and the other system on for about four months. But, in that year alone, we averaged 5,000 head of cattle more on feed, we had an addition that year as well and we recycled 1.3 million gallons less water than what we used the year before having 5,000 more cattle on feed. So that equates back to- our five average has been 10.3 gallons per head per day. We used in 2015, 9.6. So it equates back to 8% less water used and only capturing really 23% of the yard recycled for the full year and 55% captured for four months. So this year we’re hoping to kind of round out a little over 10-12 million this year is what our estimation is. We’re recycling our west and east units in 2016 just a shade over 37,000 gallons per day average. So this year we’re hoping to capture around 12 million total for the year and next year with all three units going and part of the year with the full yard we’re hoping to get in the 25 million gallon range that we’re going to recycle.

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