A Gallagher Westonfence has paid for itself in the first year, by protecting crops from being eaten by kangaroos.
Damien Meppem is the livestock overseer on “Tyrone”, which sits at Gurley, between Narrabri and Moree in the Western Slopes district of Northern NSW. Owned by the Carrigan family, the property operates sheep, sheep-feedlot and beef enterprises, with summer crops of wheat, barley and chickpeas.
Mr Meppem said, “In a good year, cropping losses to kangaroos aren’t so extreme, but in a tight year you really notice how much you actually lose, because the rest of the paddock’s pretty thin too. We’re also in an area where it’s probably becoming a bit more marginal than it used to be with our rainfall pattern.”
In an effort to stem losses, they investigated different fencing options.
“We did a fair bit of research, plus went to a few field days – I went to AgQuip a couple of years ago and there was a local mini field day at Bellata, which is not far.”
Both times they saw Gallagher Westonfence – and were impressed.
“We’d heard a bit about it, too, with different people using it. It’s easy to put up, easy to maintain and as far as a comparison goes, pricing was pretty much the same as netting fence.
“So far we’ve put in about 12 kilometres, scattered all over the farm. It’s not necessarily boundary fencing, we’re replacing fences that border our own grass country going into cropping where there’s lots of kangaroo pressure, to upset the kangaroos’ movement pattern and keep them in the grass country and off the cropping side.
“The first bit we did, we literally saw a result straightaway.”
Mr Meppem said they’ve used D8 Gallagher Westonfence Insulated Suspension Posts, with the 1,365mm height providing a visual and physical barrier. They’ve also used 660mm Gallagher Westonfence Insulated Suspension Post Leaning Offsets on existing fencing that was in good shape. So far the fences are solar powered, using M5800i Mains Fence Energizers.
“This winter, we’ll be hooking one into the mains too, putting in M12,000i Mains Fence Energizers.
“We also saw a result pretty quickly with the leaning offsets. We put in the first lot mid-planting, but you could still see the result come harvest time – with crop on the headland, whereas previously there wouldn’t be.
“We’re pretty excited to see what happens this year when we plant, with the fencing having been in from the start. Before was pretty good, but this will show us the real results.”
Mr Meppem said using power in the fence has removed pressure from livestock leaning on it.
“There’s just no pressure within a couple of metres either side; we’ve only had them in for 18 months or so, but they’re standing perfectly upright. We run a lot more sheep here than cattle, but none of them go anywhere near it.
“We haven’t done a whole lot of electric fencing – just single-wire to fence a bit of creek country off. So we’ve been learning about the electric side. As far as putting the Gallagher Westonfence up, it’s probably the quickest fencing we’ve probably done here, to be honest.
“It’s worked so well, we’ve got more in the pipeline for this winter. In comparison to the netting, for us this is the way we’ll go. It’s a lot cheaper, and I reckon a lot easier to maintain.”
Take your farm productivity to a whole new level of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency with a Gallagher Permanent Electric Fencing solution. For more information, head into your local Pursehouse Rural store or speak to the Gallagher team on 1800 425 524 or visit am.gallagher.com.
Read more from the latest edition of Your Rural Success Magazine at Your Rural Success Magazine – Pursehouse Rural.