USING SOLAR TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE RANGELAND GRAZING MANAGEMENT
Extension Assistant Professor
Utah State University
USING SOLAR TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE RANGELAND GRAZING MANAGEMENT FLEXIBILITY
Longmore, A.T. 1
1Extension Assistant Professor- Range and Livestock, Utah State University Extension, 1 South Main St., Brigham City, UT 84302, email@example.com
Livestock water is an increasingly scarce resource in most western rangelands with availability and distribution influencing grazing management decisions across the west. Grazing rangelands during consecutive years of drought has become increasingly difficult as historic water sources run dry. With advances in solar technology pumps and lift stations, livestock producers have been able to develop water sources and distribute it across once dry landscapes. These new livestock watering systems can push water 350+ vertical feet in elevation, allowing managers to move water from low elevation areas to mountain ridges and hilltops. Water can then be stored at high elevation locations and gravity fed through pipelines to distribute water across rangelands. Solar water systems provide increased flexibility in grazing management by allowing access to historically underutilized areas.
This presentation will look at one case in Utah where AUMs have quadrupled since the installation of solar water systems on the ranch. The historical water sources on the Half Circle Cross Ranch began to dry up after several years of drought conditions. Looking for alternative water sources, the managers were introduced to solar powered livestock water systems. The first solar water system was installed on the ranch in 2015 with financial assistance from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Grazing Improvement Program. Since then, over 40 miles of pipe, 95 new trough locations, and 34,700 gallons of water storage have been installed, all of which are powered by solar. These additional water locations and storage have provided the ranch manager with ways to manage the ranch that he once only dreamed of. He has been able to increase stocking rates, rest pastures and provide a valuable resource for himself and other local ranchers.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
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Authors: Ashley Longmore
Longmore, A. Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University Extension-Box Elder , Utah, 84302