Water is commonly the weakest link in grazing systems because it is the most overlooked and neglected nutrient on farms. Many people do good jobs ensuring that the pasture, hay and grain they feed to livestock is high quality and of sufficient quantity, but they ignore the quality and quantity of their herds’ drinking water. The key to animal health, grazing distribution, and forage management is readily available, adequate supplies of quality water.

The cost of water systems is always a consideration, but cutting too many corners will reduce performance, flexibility, and user satisfaction. Well-designed systems constructed using quality components and good workmanship will provide many years of convenient, low maintenance, profitable use.

The intent of this publication is to provide livestock producers with the basic information that they need to plan, design and install water systems that will maximize animal performance and minimize the labor necessary to care for their herds’ water needs.

Watering Systems for Serious Graziers
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Columbia MO
August 2006
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