Irrigating Bermuda

Help Support CattleToday:

Apr 19, 2007
Reaction score
Gulf Coast of South Texas
I am looking for any info I can get on irrigating bermuda. Every thing from type of grass, to irrigating systems, how much water, cost, how to grow grass, how to cut grass, and so on. I will take any thing and every thing you got. Kind of a if you could start from scratch how would you design it.

Looking at setting up a pasture for personal hay and possibly selling some.

Brute, I talked to a guy today who just put in a three section pivot and I asked him a few questions I thought you might find helful. His pivot cost was $30,000 but he already had a well. He said a well would run around $30000 too. His pivot does not do a complete circle so this is going to be a little higher than if yours will. But his covers 30 acres. So the cost of well and installation is $2000/acre. He said the cost of running the pump and pumping 3/4 inch per acre will cost him roughly $15/acre.

Hope this is helpful.
When he was first anwering my questions he thought i was talking cropland. When I told him grass he changed his figures some - upwards. Apparantly it takes more water for grass than other crops. He mentioned something about 3/4 inch. I didn't press this but I took it to mean per watering.

Most farmers around here will tell you the best way to pay for irrigation is to never use it. But in the hay business I think having water on hayground during a drought would be the time it would really pay for itself. I know a few short years ago I could have made some serious money around here during our drought had enough hay to sell.

Guy down the road from me has some big contracts for square bales. All his fields are irrigated cause he has to supply so much hay no matter what. I think he does quite well with his operation but I think the economics would be different with cow hay unless we were in a drought.
That is what I am looking at, probably selling square bales.

In wet years it can sit, that is fine, no hurry on getting a return. Its in the dry years when I would be nice to fire it up.

A place I take care of has several horses that we buy square bales for. I pay $6-7 per bale, and I have to keep 3 contacts to make sure I have pleanty, they sell it as fast as its cut. Two of the three I know have big contracts with racetracks or other horses people. One guy was selling 1200 bales/ week to a horse place.
Brute 23":2abkpxnt said:
Thanks, that is helpful. I wonder how much water/ ac it takes to grow the grass to cutting stage?

That is going to depend on the grass. The more "improved" the grass, the more water it will take - depending on your area - and the more water it takes, the lower the setting on the pivot, and the slower it goes around, thus increasing the electricity cost of running it. We generally run our pivots at 30% following getting the hay off the field, but I don't remember what that equates in inches of water. I'll check the chart tomorrow and let you know - I'm thinking it's 3/4's of an inch, but I'm not sure. All of our "improved" grasses are irrigated via flood irrigation, not the pivots.

Latest posts