Conservation at Work: Livestock Pipeline Maximizes Grazing Potential

Brian German USDA-NRCS

The installation of a livestock pipeline can help producers realize the full potential of their grazeland. George McClelland of Petaluma worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to help facilitate the development of a more efficient water system to optimize the rotational grazing plan on his organic dairy farm. McClelland noted that the practice was a significant benefit to his operation in the ‘Livestock Pipeline’ episode of NRCS’s Conservation at Work video series.

“He had a pretty steep hill and the cattle did not want to stay up on top of the hill to drink. So, we were able to come in and help plan, design, and implement a water system,” Area Rangeland Management Specialist with California NRCS Kristan Norman told AgNet West. “With that, he was able to utilize his temporary fencing, rotate his animals, have plenty of water, and not have to worry about the animals stressing going up and down the hill since they did not want to travel upslope.”

The installation of a livestock pipeline was part of McClelland’s overall management plan and was also combined with the construction of watering facilities throughout the pasture.  McClelland described the project with NRCS as a “win-win situation” in the ‘Water Facility’ episode of the video series.

Norman explained that NRCS can assist producers with a variety of practices like livestock pipelines or watering facilities, with each approach to conservation designed and planned specifically for that individual operation. “We work very closely together to develop a plan and this conservation plan can be an overall encompassing ranch-wide plan or it can be specific for one field. So, whatever works for this producer, that’s what we want to work with,” said Norman.

Listen to Norman’s full interview.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation at Work video series documents how producers and landowners are using individual practices to improve their land and save time and money. Each episode tackles one subject in a short and easy to understand format. Watch the episodes at Farmers.Gov and contact your local NRCS office for more information.

About the Author

Brian German

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Multimedia Journalist for AgNet West