For irrigating permanent perennial grass pasture, Burkey favors a K-Line system to center pivots. He believes the K-Line, consisting of a connected series of pod-mounted sprinklers, allows for more efficient water utilization. Set for a slow soak, the system delivers about 5 hundredths of an inch of water per hour. However, the system does have to be moved manually. Burkey hitches an ATV to his K-Line and “snakes” it from one position to the next.
Center pivot systems irrigate some cash crops (corn and soybeans), in rotation with forage crops grown for grazing. However, Burkey is considering a move to continuous forage production, with species typically considered to be “cover crops.”
While Burkey barns are occupied, limit-fed rations are delivered to pads or aprons along the fenceline exterior. No bunks means easy cleaning. Calves crawl through the gap and lounge outside. Calves typically begin eating feed at an early age. While rotationally grazing various annual forage crops, cattle drink from portable waters moved from paddock to paddock.