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Exclusion Fencing Allows Higher Stocking Rates

10 December 2014

AUSTRALIA – A Queensland couple have increased stocking rates by 50 per cent by simply erecting fencing around their entire holding.

Over 39 kilometres of 155 cm grip lock fencing now surrounds the grazing land of Robert And Beanie Mackenzie, stopping kangaroos and wild dogs in their tracks.

The Mackenzies, who farm at Morven in central southern Queensland, say the protection is helping the farm through the drought.

"We have had only had half our normal rainfall over two years and we are still maintaining our breeding herd thanks to careful grazing management, part of which is keeping off the roos,” said Mrs Mackenzie.

But the expense is to consider, as is the maintenance.

Mrs Mackenzie added: "For others looking at using exclusion fencing, I recommend calculating the cost on a per hectare basis rather than per kilometre to give a more accurate idea of cost and return.

“It's a long-term investment but we saw benefits within six months after we had rain.

"I think it goes without saying that maintenance is imperative and we go around the entire boundary around once a month.”

Such a large scale project has received attention from fellow producers. Last week, more than 50 cattle and sheep farmers visited the Morven farm to inspect the exclusion fencing.

They heard that fencing forms part of the farm’s “grazing management toolbox”, allowing time control grazing to maximise every rain event.

Addressing the challenges of such a major fencing project, Mrs Mackenzie said: “Waterways and roadways can sometimes be an added challenge when building exclusion fencing, but the floodgates in the fence have been through two major floods intact due to good design, and I hope this is something that our visitors took away from the tour.”

TheSheepSite News Desk

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