Water, Drought and Livestock

Make it Rain

Talk to any livestock owner in the summertime and the topic of rain is sure to come into the conversation. “Did you get rain?”, “When are they calling for rain?”, “We sure could use a good soaker”.  As drought continues to rage in the west and other parts of the country, more and more farmers and ranchers are learning new “sustainable practices” to use water resources as effectively as possible. Let’s look at the relationship between water, drought, and livestock.


Overgrazing can be a serious issue for drought parched pastureland that is already sparse and vulnerable. Most pastures aren’t irrigated, so lack of rainfall can have a devastating effect. Rotating grazing area sooner and even using mixed herds of animals who eat different vegetation can alleviate some of the pressures on already vulnerable pastureland. New remote sensors can monitor soil moisture and give ranchers real time data to plan when to move cattle to an optimum grazing location.

Ground Cover Options

Some resourceful farmers adapted by growing different ground cover that can thrive in hotter dryer climates. Winter rye, buckwheat, sorghum, crimson clover, and hairy vetch are favorites for their hardiness. In times of drought, cover crops are the protective barrier between soil and Mother Nature. Research has found cover crops significantly more effective at weed suppression. The extensive root structures of certain cover crop species will help hold soil into place to prevent wind erosion and eventually rain erosion. Most importantly, during times of drought, a cover crop is going to lock moisture into place by regulating soil temperature and protecting the surface area from evaporation, while increased soil organic matter improves water holding capacity. Cover crops make good practical sense.

 Culling Herds

Many farmers feed more hay to make up for the reduced grazing options. With recurring drought issues in the Midwest as well, the availability of feed can also become a serious issue. Lack of feed has caused many ranchers and farmers to adjust herd numbers as well as crop production.  It can be a difficult balancing act between resources and livestock demands when water is scarce.  Many ranchers make the difficult choice of culling their herds, selling off animals to mitigate the impact on natural resources for the remaining herd. With no predicted end to the drought in site, this presents a stark new reality for farmers.  Farmers and ranchers need to prepare for more heat, escalating water shortages, and increasingly frequent storms that wash dry soil away.

Water, Drought, and Livestock

Obviously, we at The Drinking Post are very concerned about watering livestock, and we can offer watering solutions that save money, time, labor and worry. The advantages of the Drinking Post are best understood with an excerpt from the FAQ section of our website: https://dpwaterer.com/faq/ 

Drinking Post

The Drinking Post works a lot like a frost-free yard hydrant. You bury the base of a Drinking post 18″ below the local frostline.  The base of the post connects directly to a pressurized waterline. When the animal is thirsty, they walk up to an empty bowl. They push the paddle and water starts to fill the bowl immediately. They will start drinking as the bowl is filling. Then, when animals finish, they release the paddle and any un-consumed water drains back down below the frostline into a leach field directly below the Drinking Post.

Keep it Clean

Since all the water drains away after each use, there is never any standing water in the unit.  Since there’s no standing water, there’s nothing in there to freeze and no summer-time loss from evaporation!

Also, since the Drinking Post fills with new, fresh water with every single use, it stays incredibly clean! The animals love the fresh, clean water.  You won’t have to spend your time cleaning it to keep it that way. No standing water means no freezing, but it also means no algae growth! There is never any algae growth in the Drinking Post.

We can’t control the weather.  When it comes to water, drought and livestock  Drinking Post offers a simple solution to many complex watering issues.  Shop for your new Drinking Post today at: https://dpwaterer.com/shop    Be sure to visit Drinking Post on social media and share this article by using the “Share this” links at the bottom of the page

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