In past generations, farmers used windmills to bring water to their livestock, using one of Kansas’ resources-wind. There are still a few relics around today.
Now, farmers are being encouraged to water their animals with water pumped by a solar panel, which uses another resource Kansas has much of- solar energy.
The purpose of this watering system is to keep surface water from being contaminated by animal feces, which naturally happens when animals are allowed into streams, ponds, and rivers to drink.
“The solar pump helps producers move livestock away from streams and ponds as their only water source,” Herschel George, Southeast Kansas Watershed Specialist for Kansas State University, said.
This week George is at the Bourbon County Fair to demonstrate the solar-powered water delivery system and visit with interested cattlemen and others about it.
“We pump out of a well or a pond into a tank,” George said Monday afternoon at the fair. “This helps keep manure out of the Marmaton River.”
The Marmaton River traverses from west to east through Bourbon County towards Missouri and is the recipient of water from streams in the county.
These streams are on private property and some have animals that get their needed water from those streams.
While at the water source, animals defecate and urinate into the streams and ponds and rivers.
This system is to rectify that problem of water quality.
Much of George’s time as a K-State Watershed Specialist is spent developing and installing water plans for livestock alternative water systems, according to the to https://www.kcare.k-state.edu/staff/Watershed_specialists.html
He installs concrete and tire tank livestock water supply lines to ponds full of water and solar water pumping systems. He also assists farmers in finding cost-share solutions to improving water quality, according to the website. Additionally, he assists to bring them into compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
George can be reached on his cell phone at 913-294-6021 or via email at [email protected].
George will be demonstrating at the Bourbon County Fair Wednesday through Thursday, July 18-19, located near the Merchant’s Building and also Friday through Sunday at the Four State Farm Show, south of Pittsburg in booth 280.