Northwest Iowa — It’s that time of year again when precipitation and the thawing of snow and underground frost make for “soupy” conditions. The problem is compounded in cattle yards, says agricultural engineer Dr. Kris Kohl with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
He says that there are some tips that he has for building feedlots to minimize the issues and that concrete put in the right place makes feeding cattle more of a pleasure during wet conditions.
He says sloping concrete is the way to go. He says a slope of three-quarters of an inch per foot will be self-cleaning.
He says there is a way to make it easier for equipment to clean the yards too.
Another tip that Kohl has for feedlot owners is to make the concrete strong enough for equipment.
He says that makes it four times stronger than regular concrete. He also says that concrete strength is decreased by 500 psi for every 3 gallons of water added per yard so you may want to order it a little stronger if you plan to add water at the site. Kohl also reminds us that the portland cement curing reaction needs water, so after the slab has set, it should be sealed or kept wet during the curing process. He says that doubles the strength from what it would have been if it had been allowed to air-dry.