Bar 7 Ranch, recipient of BC’s 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award, has worked with
Southern Irrigation to upgrade their yields and save labour with Lindsay Zimmatic Pivots.


“My name is Doug Fossen, and our ranch name is Fossen Bar 7 Ranch. We’ve ranched here in Rock creek with my wife, three girls, and my mom and dad. We have a cattle ranch and run 350 commercial cows, [and] we produce forage on 250 acres of irrigated cropland.

We are on a south-facing slope, but many of our fields are between 13- 15% grade, so it’s been a real challenge to make irrigation fit those slopes. We are running about 300 handlines that we moved once daily on a 24-hour set. We were getting good production from the irrigation, but the labour was a lot.

We probably were taking 4-5 people 4 hours a day to move the irrigation pipe. When we ran out of labour, I would move pipes for 8-10 hours a day to do that one set on the irrigation. With handlines, we took about 14 days to get across the field, so our production was not what we knew it could be.

So in 2012, we installed our first centre pivot through the environmental Farm Plan. They paid 30% of the cost of the pivot and then helped us pout in a mainline, and Southern Irrigation helped with the installation of that project.

When we switched to the pivot, we were able to run it with the same pump about three days out of the week. We were saving all that water and power and about 2.5 hours a day of moving pipes. Our production went from 46 loads of silage off that field to almost 100 in that first year. So that made us realize our production could be better and our cost would be way down by installing pivots.

The installation on our centre pivots has gone really well with Southern Irrigation. We usually get one staff member to come out and help us with the installation; they bring their tools. It usually takes about one day per tower to put up the pivots, but we’ve had very good results with the parts being there, all the tools are there, and we were usually up and operating in a timely fashion.

On the 5 pivots that we’ve had installed, we’ve been really happy with how it all came together.

Our installs are usually tricky because of our side hills and trying to get wheels to walk on top of hills, so we’ve had to make some adjustments, changing the length of pivots between spans and moving wheels around and things like that, but Southern has been very good with those projects. We’ve been able to get that all organized, and we’ve been able to get the pivots to walk where they have to go.

We looked at Zimmatic pivots and felt they were a good quality pivot; we are at 11 years with the first pivot that we installed, and we’ve had no issues.

This year we received the environmental stewardship award for our ranch, which is for practices that we’ve done on our ranch. This award is very special to us; we appreciate being awarded it by other community members and the ranching industry. Part of the Ranch sustainability award is recommending products that work for you to your neighbours and friends. We love our environment and see the results of looking after it in our day-to-day life. We are very proud of what we’ve done with our land and the land we manage, and we hope that that management will help our kids farm into the future.

Dealing with Southern irrigation, we’ve been treated like family. We have great relationships with salespeople and people involved in the business and feel we get a good value on our products.

We don’t have any trouble recommending them as a business other ranchers should deal with.”

~ Doug Fossen, Fossen Air Ltd. Bar 7 Ranch

2023-06-20T16:25:28-07:00October 18th, 2022|FieldNET, Pivots and Laterals, Press Release, Testimonials, Zimmatic|