Jamie) Good morning and welcome back to Farm Factor. First Kyle Bauer visits with Carl Garten who is developing a solar water pump and tire tank project.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer in Dickinson County, have the opportunity to visit with Carl Garten. They are installing a solar powered pumping unit on a farm that he’s involved with. Carl, why did you want to develop this project? (Carl) Well this side here we have a little over a quarter grass, about 170 acres. The only place we have water on it is clear on the east side. So, the cattle have to walk a full mile from the west side to get to water. The soil site type here is very sandy. We have tried putting ponds before; just can’t hold enough water. And so we’ve looked at putting in a well. We have good groundwater here. In this case here we’re about 50 foot to water. And so we looked at using the solar system or I even looked at a wind mill. Cost wise the windmill was gonna be a little…and then the other challenge you have with a windmill is finding people to work on those, that type of thing. Most people that put in pumps are willing to put in solar pumps too. So, I did have several cooperators or plumbers here that were willing to put the system in. In this case here we decided to put it in ourselves with the help of Herschel George from K-State. And made a demonstration out of it and that way we could kind of stretch this project out. You know you hire somebody, they’re gonna come in here and want to do it real fast. This way we could stretch it out and still make it a demo. But mainly so we could get full utilization of this pasture with having water clear on one side, we don’t get cattle coming clear to the west side to utilize the grass fully. This pond is located about 3/4 of a mile into the pasture, and so we got water now on the west side. They still can go to the east side water there too. And so we’ll have two watering sources out here in the mile distance. (Kyle) Do you normally use this pasture in summer or the winter? (Carl) We do a little of both. Usually we’ll put cattle out here. My operator that’s here uses it early in the spring when he’s still putting embryos and AI in those cows. And then once they’re all bred he’ll then move them on off of here and then this pasture will sit completely empty until mid-September, so about two and half, three months. And then we’ll utilize it again early in the winter here. He’s got about 30-40 cows out here to utilize this grass now. (Kyle) So, something that would work in both hot and cold weather was one of your considerations? (Carl) Right. And then it gets to the point where this thing is actually freezing, they can then utilize some water that’s up at the house where we’ve got heated watering systems. It will work great for this type of situation we have here. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Carl Garten. We’re in Dickinson County, working on a solar powered water supply. This is Kyle Bauer reporting. Back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Folks, stay with us as Kyle catches up with Herschel George, a K-State watershed specialist.