OK FOR ELECTRIC
Electric fencing can prove
invaluable when labours at a
premium. Jeremy Hunt reports
ELECTRIC fencing is considered an integral part of the management of Faccombe Estates flock of 2850 breeding ewes at Andover, Hants.
"We have been using electric fencing for sheep for over 20 years. It has revolutionised the way we manage our sheep on this type of grass and arable system," says Faccombe Estates farm manager David Harbottle.
The 1720ha (4250-acre) estate runs a ley system growing around 202ha (500 acres) of grass.
Using electric fencing makes the transition between leys and arable crops an easy step, says Mr Harbottle. "When we plough a ley all we have to do is take the fences up and close down the mains water supply, then we drill an arable crop.
"Its totally flexible and gives us the ideal means of grazing all our leys with sheep." The Rappa system at Faccombe Estate, most of which is run off mains power, utilises both hand-reelers and ATV-mounted reels. Durability is good – only some wire or an occasional reel has to be replaced each year
"Apart from one or two ewes that have an inclination to jump over everything, we have few problems with escapees. And even with ewes and lambs we only need three strands of wire unless grazing is alongside a game-crop, which may be more appealing," says Mr Harbottle, who manages to hold store lambs on roots during the winter with just two strands of wire.
Using electric fencing makes the transition between leys and arable crops an easy step, says David Harbottle.