HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2015
40 ON FARM Grazier Tim Williams from Morven in Queensland is running more stock than ever on his 8700ha property 'Banff Downs' and hasn't had a problem with wild dogs thanks to a decision to put in exclusion fencing in 2012. He has even increased the carrying capacity by more than 10 per cent despite a two and half year dry period, and has plans to increase stocking by a further 10 per cent to 16,000 DSE. Most of this increase will be in sheep numbers, which Tim says will be easily achieved now that grazing pressure from kangaroos has been reduced to a manageable level and wild dogs are no longer a major issue. In 2011 lambing on 'Banff Downs' was as low as 40 per cent in some paddocks and wild dogs were slowly encroaching. Tim decided that he had to fence the property or leave the sheep industry for good. The reduced impact of wild dogs and pigs has resulted in average lambing rates across Banff Downs of up to 96 per cent. COSTS AND MAINTENANCE The fence was completed in June 2012 and took around 18 months to install. The average cost of materials for the fence was $2850/km which took into account contributions from neighbours and the use of some old fence in some sections. Tim estimates that site preparation and construction cost an additional $2000/km. The total cost was approximately $4850/km or $204,000 for the entire 42km fencing project that encloses 8300ha. This translates to an investment of just under $25 per hectare. Tim initially checked the fence once a month by motor bike, which takes around two hours, but it is now checked routinely every six months. In contrast, before the fence was built he was spending a day a week on wild dog control. He also checks it after a storm. "More checking was required in the first two months after construction, as there was a lot more pressure from kangaroos at this time," he said. "I am surprised at how little maintenance the fence needs -- there may be more in the future as the fence ages but this shouldn't become an issue for a few years yet." WAS IT GOOD FOR BUSINESS? Tim started seeing results from the fencing during lambing in 2012. Two paddocks achieved 97 per cent, while a third mob achieved 70 per cent after it was compromised by a dog that entered (via a gate that had been left open). 2013 was the first proper lambing that he achieved, with no dogs present at lambing time. In 2014, three paddocks averaged 95-100 per cent, while a fourth paddock only achieved 60 per cent due to pig pressures, which had increased in the absence of wild dogs. The pigs were inside the fence before it was closed, and were eradicated with a shooting and baiting program. Overall, he has increased his lambing rates from 40 per cent or lower to his current average of 87 per cent. Based on an average value of $50 per lamb, he estimates that his income has been boosted by as much as $47,150 through increasing lamb numbers from 684 to 1627. ONCE AND FOR ALL EXCLUDING DOGS An exclusion fence has been very effective at preventing wild dogs -- and kangaroos -- entering Tim Williams' property at Morven in Queensland, resulting in increased lambing rates and the ability to run sheep in all paddocks without worry of wild dog attacks. The exclusion fence erected on Tim Williams' property has provided Tim and his family with peace of mind, knowing with confidence that sheep can graze without wild dog attacks. PHOTO: Rodney Green, Queensland Country Life The total height of the new fence is 150cm, using Fixed KnotTM wire with 14 horizontal running wires and 15cm gaps between the vertical wires. There is one barbed wire at the top of the fence and one plain wire at the bottom to help strengthen the Fixed KnotTM wire. ClipexTM posts were used which made it easy to attach the wires. An old dog netting fence with new wire run next to it was used for a portion of the fence. Gates needed netting to be added on top for extra height. In creek crossings, netting was suspended from a cable secured between two trees.