Fence Boosts Angus Stocking Rates
The strength of new fencing technology has boosted the productivity of Victorian cattle producer Ken O’Brien’s property near Barham, preventing hundreds of kangaroos from destroying his 32 hectares of irrigated clover and rye grass.
Ken O’Brien runs a property with 300 head of cattle as well as a firewood business that sells 50 tonnes of wood per year. His property is situated next to the Gunbower Island State Forest, while it offers nice scenery, it is also a haven for feral animals.
Mr O’Brien said “It wasn’t unusual to see 300-400 kangaroos in a night, and they would strip my valuable irrigated pasture bare. Even if there was remaining pasture, the cattle still wouldn’t eat it as there would be kangaroo faeces and urine stains all through the grass.”
To exclude kangaroos and contain cattle, a strong barrier needed to be established. The use of Waratah Jio Star and Jio MaxY posts were spaced out every 8 meters. The larger profile of the Jio Maxy improves ground holding capabilities and allows the fence line to withstand higher impact loads. Waratah Stocksafe T Longlife Blue ® 15-150-15 wire was used. The longlife Blue ® range has been specifically designed to prevent animals penetrating the fence. At the top of the fence a high tensile barb was installed, at 1.5m, it stands higher than normal fences to prevent kangaroos penetrating the barrier.
Mr O’Brien said, “Since installing the 2.2km fence, I’ve only ever seen two kangaroos in the block and they jumped over the cattle grid to get in. We’ve now been able to increase our stocking rate by one-third, as the fencing has improved our pasture dramatically,”.
Advice For Farmers, From Farmers
“Using these fencing products was an investment that will yield savings in the long term, due to its ease of installation. Initially it might be more expensive, but in the end the benefits far outweigh the costs. “We had the fence rolled out and put up in under two days, which is three times quicker than it would take normally,” Mr O’Brien said.