“I'm Dave Elliot, I ranch in southwest Saskatchewan, northwest of the little town of Maple Creek. Our conditions here are pretty sandy ground and I use mostly native grass, but some cows summer on tame grasses, mostly crested wheat.
I guess the first experience I had with these orange tubs was three or four summers ago. Late July the tame grass was getting pretty burnt up. And I'm thinking, well, I'm going to have to move these cows. And then I remembered talking with somebody about these tubs and I thought, I'm going to try one on this.
There was lots of standing grass, but it had matured and it was getting burnt from hot July. So, I put a couple of tubs out with these cows, and within a couple of three weeks, I could see these cows were looking a little better. The calves were starting to get a little more shine on them, and I probably got about four weeks more grazing out of that crested wheatgrass than I normally would have.
So, that was the first experience with them. I thought, well, when I can see the results visually, well, there's something to them. So then I started doing. I think this is the third year of using the tubs year-round. And I really haven't found any fault with them. Other than like I told the fellow, I said the only fault with them is I got to sign a check every time I go get some. But that comes with anything.
My business is managing grass I like to think and I use a cow to harvest it. Water is probably my most important asset and we fence most of our water holes. We pump primarily with solar pumps and clean water I think it’s a pretty important thing.
So, I try to find ways of producing a steer calf in the fall that will have the maximum weight that I can get, but without too much fuss. So putting the tubs out is not too much fuss and getting the water system set up, initially, you get a dugout fence and set up the system, and then that's about all I have to do. So I spend my summers just checking cows and checking these mechanical water systems.
So ranchin’ is pretty darn good here, except for when it's dry and it happens here. So you have to manage for it. But I'm in it for the long haul. I've got a son that's is going to be taking over. He'll be here for the long haul too, I'm assuming. The Rio tubs, as far as I'm concerned, are just another tool that I'm using to produce a quality steer to sell in the fall.”