The Kootenay Livestock Association partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture to host a field day on water use at Cranbrook’s famous effluent-irrigated hay fields on May 23. 
Andrew Bennett, a farm water planner (and KBFA general advisor), discussed drought management strategies from improving irrigation efficiency to match soil and crop conditions, to planning for storage to deal with shortages.
Lee Fennell of Okanagan Fence Supplies in Armstrong, showcased a towable cattle trough he has developed with integrated solar panels and a pump sufficient to water 250 head of cattle.
Daniel Van Beek of Southern Irrigation talked about irrigation reels and Tony Pighin had brought along a new one to demonstrate. Although of slightly lower application efficiency than sprinklers, travelling guns can be much more efficient overall than wheellines or handlines as they can cover ground faster with less labour, avoiding the “boom and bust” cycles common to lines.

Tony Pighin demonstrates his new irrigation reel.

Daniel Van Beek (centre) discusses travelling gun operation and maintenance with participants.

Lee Fennell with his portable solar water trough.

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