10 Sep

Wade Rain Wheel Line

At Pleasant Meadow Creamery, being in a western state, we learned long ago that a Wade Rain Wheel line is absolutely necessary to have green grazing 5 or six months per year.

Prior to getting wheel lines, we would have the fields dry out in early August, and our solo cow would already be looking for hay.

We therefore sought to install an irrigation system. It involved building a dam on the creek and irrigating from the creek. This worked to water one pasture, with one wheel line, but only barely because we would draw the creek down after just two or three hours irrigating and we would have to shut down for ten hours to recharge.

Finally, we sunk real money into putting in an irrigation well. To drill and develop the well (which we developed ourselves) cost over $24,000. It was worth it though, as we now have an irrigation system that can water 45 acres and run 24 hours per day 7 days per week week in and week out.

In a normal year, the system runs either 44 or 55 days, depending on whether we do five runs across the fields or four. This summer is a four pass summer thanks to rains as late as July 8. It has been dry dry dry since then, but not on our fields. Every 11 days, we put down about 2.5 inches of water.

4 thoughts on “Wade Rain Wheel Line

  1. Wow. That’s amazing what you’ve done with irrigation, Paul. Congratulations. Again, would love to visit your beautiful raw milk oasis some day if I can get to North Idaho. Have you ever heard of Walter Clay Lowdermilk’s book Palestine Land of Promise? The professor shows how civilizations have declined over the years due to the lack of attention to their soils.
    Blessings, Steve Plog

    • I have not heard of that book, but it sounds very interesting. Soil health is the foundation of all. I had to give up one of my remote hay fields (leased) due to not having the capacity to work it and the guy who owns it has already become convinced he needs to be spraying it to control certain types of plants in favor of others. He is listening to whatever “experts” he has surrounded himself with. It is tragic.

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