The Valve Every Farmer Needs

by Gemma Grocutt

The Valve Every Farmer Needs

Keeping cattle hydrated with readily available water supplies is vital to the success of dairy farms and Philmac UK is advising that, by utilising a single valve, farmers can quickly and easily increase water flow to drinking troughs.

For large herds, drinking troughs of more than 1,300 litres are typically used, but it can be difficult to fill these quickly enough to meet the hydration needs of the cattle. Milk is composed of 87% water and lactating dairy cows need at least 60 litres of water per day, with some high yielding cattle drinking up to 100 litres.

Water is consumed rapidly, with each cow capable of drinking up to 14 litres a minute, and they can become agitated if enough water is not available to them. There is a common misconception that in order to maintain an effective water supply for cattle, you simply need a larger trough. However, larger troughs take longer to fill, which means more time the cattle are not getting water, and it is this fill time that is the problem faced by many dairy farmers.

Philmac UK is advising farmers to review the valves that they are using within their water supply system, especially when installing larger troughs, as a different configuration may be able to provide faster water flow from the system to the trough. It is important that valves specifically developed for use with stock water are utilised, as all too often fittings and valves used within domestic plumbing applications are adapted for this use, with these delivering, on average, just 10 litres of water per minute.

Philmac has developed the RXP High Flow Valve, which can, depending on the inlet pressure, deliver up to 242 litres of water per minute. The flexible valve can connect to troughs with a ¾” connection and is suitable for concrete troughs with a 250 – 1,500 litre capacity and plastic troughs with a 250 to 650 litre capacity.

The valve has been developed with a range of innovative features, specifically designed to reduce water loss. A locking nut prevents the float from coming undone to ensure water is not lost through a loose float, while specially engineered flow directors minimise the rosette effect, common with alternative valves, to prevent unnecessary splashing.

Commenting on the valve, Aliaxis UK Industry and Agriculture Product Manager, Fraser Higgins, said: “Dairy Farmers are continually looking for ways to improve yield and keeping cattle hydrated is the key to this, yet many do not realise how simple it is to increase their herd’s water intake. Simply changing the valve used to fill water troughs can increase water flow rates, which in turn, fills troughs quicker and keeps cows happy and hydrated to maintain, and often improve, yields.”

For further information on the Philmac RXP High Flow Valve please visit philmac.co.uk or call 0844 335 0016.

Philmac is a global leader in the design and manufacture of specialist pipe fittings and valves, offering a variety of connection solutions for the transfer, control and application of water within the agricultural sector.