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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
Waterways are high-risk areas for wild dog incursions because effective exclusion fencing can be tricky to build in such volatile areas. Many woolgrowers fence waterways independently of the rest of their fences using separate end assemblies and materials that are designed to lay-down, fold- over or even break away in the event of a flood. In a 41⁄2 minute video from AWI’s state network in Queensland, Leading Sheep, woolgrowers Ben Banks of ‘Rivington’ at Blackall and David Owens of ‘Somerset’ at Longreach provide some tips for successful planning and erection of an exclusion fence. In particular they talk about the importance of preparation and fencing across creeks and watercourses. “When erecting a fence, if we get to a creek or waterway, we’ll stop the fence and put in a double-end assembly and then restart the fence again until we get to the other side of the water – therefore we keep that section of the fence on the waterway separate, so if and when it washes away it doesn’t affect the rest of our fence,” Ben explained. “We’ll swing netting under the main line of fence over the EXCLUSION FENCING ACROSS WATERWAYS Gullies, waterways and floodways can be difficult to protect with exclusion fencing due to varying water levels and the risk of flood, but Queensland woolgrowers Ben Banks, David Owens and Will Roberts provide some tips for other producers. Woolgrower David Owens of ‘Somerset’ at Longreach explaining in the new video the construction of his exclusion fencing across a floodway. AWI PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILD DOG EXCLUSION FENCING waterway and on the upstream side we’ll put a light poly-belt to act as a float.” At ‘Somerset’ , David said: “We put 1800mm chicken wire netting on the bottom of the flood fencing and made sure it overlapped 450mm on the ground – it swings up when you get a normal flood and lets all the debris through. We have also put up an 8-line wire at the top of the fence that will swing on the odd occasion when there is a really big flood.” In a separate 31⁄2 minute video from Leading Sheep, woolgrower Will Roberts of ‘Victoria Downs’ at Morven also provides some exclusion fencing tips and tricks – and emphasises having structural integrity in the fence over floodways. “We’ve driven a drill stem into the ground at least 1.7 metres and screwed the top of the post onto that,” he said. “It’s terribly important on the floodway to keep the top of the fence as straight as you possibly can so you are not putting pressure on the posts. Then we’ve hung three sections of the fence one on top of the other to the bottom which has allowed us to have an apron on the bottom of about a metre – this still gives the fence integrity regarding keeping out wild dogs, while also allowing the fence to swing as freely as it possibly can for when the bigger flow of water comes along the creek.” Further information and photos of successful exclusion fences across waterways are available in AWI’s free practical guide to wild dog exclusion fencing – see right. More information For more tips, view the videos on the Leading Sheep website at www.leadingsheep.com.au 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’s practical guide to wild dog exclusion fencing – available free from AWI. Rain falling near Longreach, Queensland. It might not rain very often here, but when it does it can damage exclusion fending unless it is properly planned and constructed. ON FARM 39