A sprinkler system combined with air movement is an effective way to cool cows. However, an insufficient water supply can prevent your sprinklers from getting the job done right. That’s why it’s so important to check your water supply, says Rick Stowell, extension agricultural engineer at the University of Nebraska. Assess the following three components:

  • Quantity. Can your water supply provide about 1.25 gallons of water per cow per hour? For instance, on a 200-cow dairy, expect your sprinkler system to use 6,000 gallons of water per day.
  • Demand. Can your water supply provide a flow rate of 0.3 gallons per cow per minute for a one-minute on time or 0.1 gallons per cow per minute for a three-minute on time? Expect to use as much as 60 gallons per minute to wet 200 cows at the same time.
  • Quality. Will you need to install a filter system to remove sediment from the water supply? Will a water-treatment system be necessary to remove minerals?