A challenge many Western Canadian cattle producers face is watering livestock in temperatures that can swing from 35C to -35C over the course of a year.
An Olds company will offer a solution next week during Agri-Trade.
CAP Solar Pumps Ltd. has developed a portable watering system that can be used year-round.
A pair of tanks are mounted on a skid unit: one 1,800 litres, that’s used in warmer weather; the other 275 litres, for winter watering.
The smaller tank is heavily insulated and kept warm by a small flameless heater. With optional wheels and a hitch, the skid unit can be easily moved.
CAP Solar Pumps has been developing and marketing livestock watering systems for years, including models that use solar and wind energy for pumping water. Owner Jason Wright said producers pushed his company toward a winter watering option.
“We sort of developed our products from that original question: “Can you provide me a solar panel to keep the watering trough open?
“That’s very difficult to do because there’s such a huge energy requirement.”
Instead, Cap Solar Pumps developed a flameless heater that runs on propane. It’s small enough that a nine-kg tank will allow the unit to operate continuously for a month.
“That’s very unique in the industry,” said Wright. “Nobody else builds that.”
The system can still harness solar and/or wind energy for pumping water, or be hooked into a conventional pressure line. To create a portable system that could be used year-round, Cap Solar Pumps partnered with Promold Marketing of Crossfield. That joint venture saw Promold develop a suitable skid unit.
Wright said Agri-Trade, at which Cap Solar Pumps has been exhibiting for 20 years, provides the perfect venue to launch the system.
“It’s been definitely our best exposure —the Agri-Trade show in Red Deer — without question, in terms of introducing new technology and new products.”
He’s optimistic about the potential for a watering system that can serve the needs of producers well into the winter.
“There is getting to be more and more demand,” he said, describing increased use of swath-grazing, bale-feeding and similar practices.
“I think it will certainly catch people’s attention.
“It gives the producer lots of options in terms of extending his grazing into the fall.”