Feral fence a saviour for Grenfell farmer - 13 November 2015

Over the past decade, an explosion in kangaroo numbers in the NSW Central West has cut grain production in some of James Clifton’s paddocks by two tonnes per hectare.

Growing up, Mr Clifton rarely saw a kangaroo and seeing a whole mob was a novelty, but in recent years he and wife Sarah have been visited by up to 200 at a time.
 
Their property, Fairview, borders the Weddin Mountains National Park, 84 square kilometres near Grenfell that’s home to a thriving kangaroo population.

Mr Clifton says the 190 hectare block that borders the park has been by far the worst affected, and culling has done little to stop the problem.


 
“It didn’t matter what was in the paddock – lupins, wheat, whatever – they would eat everything,” Mr Clifton said.
 
“I would be doing three tonnes to the hectare across the rest of the property, but scraping one tonne to the hectare in that particular block.
 
“Last year alone, we lost an estimated 100 tonnes of grain.”
 
Becoming increasingly desperate, Mr Clifton was granted a permit to cull 100 kangaroos; however this merely deterred them for a couple of days.
 
“We needed something done quickly to save what crop we had left and decided a fence along the 2.1km boundary with the park was the way to go.
 
“Local contractor Scott Eppelston suggested we go with a feral fence set up using Waratah products, making it 1.8 metres high to stop the roos going over it, and including an apron along the ground.
 
“You can see where the roos are trying to burrow underneath and the apron is stopping them. While they can still get in from other paddocks or from next door, instead of seeing hundreds at a time we are literally only seeing a few,” Mr Clifton said.

The Cliftons used Stocksafe-T® 15/150/15 prefabricated Longlife Blue® wire with an apron, and 240cm Jio® Star® and 240cm Jio MaxY® posts with Tyeasy® LonglifeBlue wire on top.

“We’ve saved the equivalent of three semi-trailer loads of grain thanks to the Waratah feral fencing system,” Mr Clifton said.
 
“I suspect it will pay for itself in the first year.”