Grassland management through rotational grazing can see a close to doubling of grass quantity, quality and utilisation if moving from a traditional set stocking regime. One of the perceived barriers is the additional infrastructure required, such as watering points and fencing which are crucial elements in the management of grazing livestock.
Replacing conventional fencing with Mains powered permanent electric fencing is increasing in popularit and offers significant cost saving providing an extremely reliable and flexible long-term solution that rotational grazing demands. Mains powered systems can be used to supply a live wire around the farm boundary or along sections of the fields. From these points, it is possible to then attach temporary lines from the permanent fence. Flexibility is key in a paddock grazing system and temporary systems added to the Mains or powered by smaller solar powered energizers are ideal.
Alisdair and Emma Davidson farm at Poldean near Moffat in Scotland run 800ha with 300ha of improved grassland and are a GrasscheckGB.co.uk monitor farm, a grass monitoring project providing information for UK livestock units throughout the growing season. Alisdair who is a self-confessed ‘grass geek’ explains “Rotational grazing utilizing Mains electric fencing now allows us to get even more from grass, improving our productivity without increasing inputs”.
Alisdair recently took delivery of a new Speedrite 46000W energizer* which can power up to 460 km (290 miles) of fence line capable of enclosing 260 hectares (640 acres) of grazing pasture and the ability to monitor and control the energizer from a smart phone. He adds; “We have put in so much poly wire we were running short of power and I’m very impressed with the 46W -it’s certainly nothing but serious power! Really, 90% of the time you do not need it but the 10% of the time you do, stock need a real kick and the Cyclic Wave™ technology Speedrite have developed gives a cleaner and more powerful punch when on the odd occasion it is required”.
Alisdair also feels this makes a massive difference when training sheep onto electric and ‘the 10-minute fences’ also come complete with galvanised end posts complete with gateways and end-springs so the stock never walkover wires when being moved, they always go through a gate instead, which is a must-do practise when moving.
The New-Dawn to Mains electric fencing however, started as far back as the new millenniumin 2000. Alisdair adds; “We took the decision first to run a hotwire around the dykes offering them more protection. When we then Made the Leap to rotational grazing four years ago all we had to do was hook in, with no faffing about with batteries. You can literally get up that morning and subdivide a paddock with poly wire and create a 10-minute fence. We have lots of stock but little staff and moving them every three days in the peak grazing months allows you to check the stock at the same time as well, a daily and time consuming task you need to undertake anyway, to keep on top of the job”.
*For professional use only