A supplier of Grassland and Forage Irrigation Systems throughout the United States and Canada
Jay Russ “No better product for me.”
Jay Russ raises cattle with Angus based genetics on his Ferndale, California ranch. The core of Jay’s operation is finishing the animals for slaughter as grass finished product to be sold direct to consumers through Humboldt Grass Fed Beef. This is done with a combination of perennial and annual ryegrass.
Jay has been irrigating in the past with aluminum hand lines. This was much too labor intensive. With the shortage of qualified labor in the area, Jay was having difficulty getting the irrigation moved. Jay checked into side rolls, (wheel lines), as an option to replace the hand lines. This was going to take as much time as moving the hand lines and would have higher maintenance costs than the hand lines. Jay needed a solution that had the flexibility to adapt to the intensive grazing pattern he uses. A solution that required little maintenance and was easy to use. K-line is that solution.
Jay started his irrigation change-over in 2004 with 40 acres of K-line. He has since added another 40 acres and is ready to install his next 120 acres of K-line for a total of 200 acres irrigated. K-line is so adaptable it has made it possible for Jay to add a fertilizer injector to his operation. By applying fertilizer with the irrigation system, it eliminates the expense of applying the fertilizer with a separate operation.
Jay Russ doubles his carrying capacity from 1 AUM/acre to 2 AUM/acre. By adding the durable and simple K-line system to Jay’s operation it has allowed him to have a better way of life and meet his production goals.
John Sattler is the owner and operator of North Star Land & Cattle, a 2200 acre cow/calf and stocker operation in the hills of East Texas that raises an F1 Brahma-Hereford breed. John also operates North Star Outfitters (www.nstaroutfitters.com) as an opportunity to share the beautiful landscape and wildlife that this ranch offers with the public. North Star Outfitters hosts Wild Boar Archery Hunts from their state of the art, luxurious lodge on the ranch.
John started North Star Land & Cattle with 2 main goals. The first goal
is to establish a profitable cattle operation that focuses on providing
hormone free, grass fed cattle to an ever growing health conscious
market. The second goal is to be a steward of the land and achieve his
goals while being conscious of the environment around him, and by
leaving the land in better condition than when he found it. To
accomplish these goals John decided the best way to build this cattle
ranch was by using a Managed Intensive Grazing strategy to use the land
on the ranch in the most efficient way possible. This meant dividing the
ranch into manageable paddock sizes of 10 to 15 acres with clean, easily
accessible water, and abundant, reliable, high quality forage. A key
component to having reliable forage in East Texas is having the ability
to irrigate that forage to maintain healthy and consistent growth
throughout the growing season.
2005 and 2006 were very dry years in East Texas and the pastures did not receive enough natural rainfall to provide adequate forage to give the cattle the nourishment they needed to maintain the proper gain per day. This meant very high feed costs to ship in the proper feed to maintain a healthy heard. This turned into additional costs up into the hundreds of thousands for the summer of 2005.
By 2006 John had the irrigation system in place and running. By irrigating his Tifton 85 Bermuda grass, John was able to rotate a total of 500 head of steers and heifers through this 140 acre irrigated pasture without supplementing. This was a phenomenal achievement. The animals were turned out on the pasture in May at a weight of approximately 450 pounds per animal. They averaged 2.2 pounds of gain per day through this drought season by rotating them through the 11 pastures in 2 groups. This meant the grass was able to be grazed once approximately every 7 days. The irrigation along with the management that John was applying allowed him to raise a quality product on a small acreage when the rest of the ranch barely had enough moisture to keep the grass alive.
John has been very satisfied with the performance of his K-line Irrigation System. North Star Land & Cattle now has over 300 acres irrigated with K-line. This has allowed them to explore opportunities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. One of these opportunities is a commercial grass hay business that has diversified the ranch beyond cattle and hunting.
Woody Thames, Agape Farms, “We doubled the carrying capacity compared to the previous owners.”
Brian Russ (Ranch Manager), “Don’t need a $55/hr technician to repair or maintain the K-line, no grease fittings, no chains, no gearboxes … as simple as flood with the efficiency of sprinklers”
Woody Thames purchased a 200 acre ranch in Montalba, TX to raise forage finished lambs and provide a healthy grass finished beef product to the market. His goal is to model the ranch off of the New Zealand standard. A critical step in building the ranch would be an affordable reliable forage source. The solution to this problem in east Texas is a reliable irrigation system.
Woody researched the available options and determined that there were 2 options for irrigating this ranch; a large gun irrigator, or K-line. The large gun would be difficult to manage with the rolling terrain of the property and would not adapt very well to the grazing layout that he wanted to use. The K-line system with the relatively low pressure requirement and the adaptability to the pasture design proved to be the right solution for Agape Farms. This simple system fits perfectly into the efficient operation of this ranch.
Agape Farms is able to maintain 300 Dorper ewes and 100 Red Angus Cows on 155 acres of irrigated pasture. This is done with a mix of warm season grasses inter-seeded with cool season perennial and annual ryegrass and various clover species.
'K-Line Irrigation' is a registered trademark and the K-Line Irrigation system protected by
NZ PAT No 331985, AU PAT No 734210, US PAT No 6398131, US PAT No 6601775, ZA PAT No 2001/2856, CA Pat Appl No 2344281
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