Irrigation system electric fence

A relatively new farmer, Roger Tobias went to work building something he needed for his operation. “I figured either it would work or it wouldn’t,” he says. It worked.  

What he needed was a movable irrigation system for one pasture. T-frames are made from scrap angle iron brace arms from a former system, so they were already drilled in one end. Tobias attached insulators, gave clearance around the wheels, then strung wire through the insulators from the first tower out to the last. Both the 2-mile, 0.1-joul, six-volt solar fence charger and the nozzles are mounted high. Also, the wires are fenced off, so cattle don’t chew on or rub off small parts.   

“I have irrigated the circle twice with cattle on the field. They never bother it. In fact, it was 90°F. out the second time, and they camped underneath to keep cool,” reports Tobias.     

When the tower stops, a stake is driven into the ground to connect a wire to for better ground. Steel wheels provide a ground even when the pivot isn’t moving. “It’s hot. Maybe not as hot as the perimeter fence, but the cattle get the idea. So far, so good,” Tobias says. Grazers brought over another 100 cattle after his system was installed. 

Portable stock panels protect the center pivot items, fertigation tank, and pump.

Recently retired from family medicine after 40 years, Tobias was a doctor in Lyons, Kansas. “I laugh to think of my lifelong farmer friends who will say, ‘What? Doc made it?’ ”


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