IX. Infrastructure: Fencing Systems

Jane Jordan · April 5, 2021

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe at least three factors to consider when building a perimeter fence.
  • Name at least one benefit and one drawback of barbed wire fencing.
  • Name at least one benefit and one drawback of high-tensile wire fencing.
  • Explain why the corner and end bracing system is particularly important.
  • Name the three components of an effective energized fence.
  • Explain the key components of a good grounding system.
  • List at least two factors to consider when placing gates.

Overview

Fencing is one of the largest infrastructure investments in a grazing operation. Beginning farmers are especially eager to learn about fencing options since it’s likely to be their first major investment. This module describes how to plan permanent fencing and select the best type of fencing for a given farm. Participants will learn how to prevent common mistakes in fence construction. The module provides overviews of posts, gates, and temporary fencing used in regenerative grazing.

Proper fencing is critical to any grazing operation. Fencing keeps livestock safe and secure. With a well-constructed fence, you’ll minimize the risk of animals escaping. Good fencing provides peace of mind.

Regenerative grazing requires both permanent and temporary fencing.

Permanent fencing

In general, regenerative grazing only requires permanent fencing for the perimeter of the pasture. In some cases, though, you may want additional permanent fencing in the interior. When you budget fencing costs, be sure to account for any internal permanent fence lines.

Tip: Remember, the less permanent fencing you have, the less time and money you’ll have to spend to maintain it.

Temporary fencing

Regenerative graziers use temporary fencing to manage grazing animal impact. Temporary fencing needs to be easy to set up and move. Polywire on reels with tread-in posts is a good choice.

Tip: Temporary fencing like polywire is not a physical barrier and by itself will not keep cattle in a paddock. Energized fencing is a psychological barrier that the animals must learn to respect. Animals also must know that they will have regular and adequate access to quality forage. Animals pressure fencing when they want better forage. When you graze less than half of available forage and move cattle to new paddocks frequently, cattle learn quickly that they’ll always have fresh forage to choose from. Once you’ve trained your herd to respect electric polywire and trust that you will keep them fed, animals readily stay within paddocks.

About Instructor

Jane Jordan

12 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 11 Lessons
  • 32 Topics
  • 1 Quiz