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Beyond the Bale : March 2018
POSITIVE OUTLOOK Graham and Jan Chambers are dedicated woolgrowers at ‘Glenelg’, just south of Mungallala on the Warrego Highway west of Roma. Glenelg had been under increasing pressure from wild dogs, despite ongoing baiting and trapping. Jan, in her role as councillor with the Maranoa Regional Council, had been the inaugural chair of the Maranoa Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee, a group of Maranoa graziers who make recommendations to council on wild dog control. Jan had also organised the Mungallala area aerial baiting. In 2014 the Chambers family decided to erect their own exclusion fence, spending $180,000 on materials. Much work was put into fence line preparation, with great importance placed on runoff diversion. The Chambers erected the fence themselves with help from their son Matthew, completing it in 2016. Jan was among the guest speakers at a free Predator Control Field Day held in Surat on 22 November. The day was organised in partnership between Maranoa Regional Council, Balonne Shire Council, AWI’s Queensland grower network Leading Queensland woolgrowers Matthew, Jan and Graham Chambers with their completed exclusion fence. Their fence is being used successfully to protect their sheep and control total grazing pressure. PHOTO: Sonia Jordon. Woolgrower and Deputy Mayor of the Maranoa Region in South West Queensland, Jan Chambers, whose family completed an exclusion fence in 2016, provided her insights into wild dog control at a recent Predator Control Field Day held at Surat. WITH 'GLENELG' FENCED Sheep and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Jan said despite limited rainfall, 2017 saw their sheep in their best ever condition at shearing. “With the dogs we were losing a couple hundred of sheep a year,” she said. “Currently our stock numbers are at 4,000 sheep and 250 head of cattle. “Removal of the dogs has had a huge effect. The stock are calmer and we are now able to better manage grazing pressure because of the exclusion fence. “Fencing has made a phenomenal difference to the condition of the sheep and also the amount of wool grown and the lambing we have had. “To privately fund our own fence was the best investment we have made and should have done it many years ago.” Landholders at the Predator Control Field Day had the opportunity to talk to experts about different feral animal control methods, visit displays and demonstrations on site that included exclusion fencing (traditional and electric), fence construction machinery, baiting materials, trapping suppliers and remote cameras. WILD DOG EXCLUSION FENCING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR WOOLGROWERS To help woolgrowers who are considering, planning, building or maintaining wild dog exclusion fencing, AWI has produced a guide that provides an overview and photos of successful exclusion fences already built by woolgrowers on other properties. The 36-page guide covers various types of exclusion fencing, including prefabricated exclusion fencing, plain wire electric fencing and electric offsets. It also provides advice on protecting weak spots – such as gateways, grids, public roadways, gullies and waterways – which are particularly vulnerable as wild dog access points. To complement the AWI guide, AWI is also making available the 14-page Kondinin Group Research Report Exclusion Fencing, Fighting Ferals that was produced in January 2016. MORE INFORMATION Both publications are available for free on the AWI website at www.wool.com/ exclusionfencing. Hard copies are also available by calling the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. AWI PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILD DOG EXCLUSION FENCING ON FARM 45
In the Shops - March 2018