Steel fences survive bush fire

Farmer promotes steel fencing as a better option


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Trent Howell has replaced his hardwood fence with a Waratah steel fence after a bushfire tore through his property.

Trent Howell has replaced his hardwood fence with a Waratah steel fence after a bushfire tore through his property.

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Farmer promotes steel fencing as a better option

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BUSH fire damage to fences is all too common. The cost and time lost in fencing has encouraged some farmers to make a higher upfront investment in terms of fencing material.

Snowy Angus property manager for “Whelans Run” Trent Howell said following a fire several years ago they noticed the steel fencing was still holding wire while the hardwood was down.

While the fencing still required repairs, the steel held up the wire sufficiently to contain cattle, he said.

“If we do have a fire, you’ve still got a fence,” he said.

Snowy Angus run 500-600 breeding cows in their operation depending on season, with generally 200 head on the 500 hectare “Whelans Run” near Buchan in the south east Gippsland.

The properties proximity to the Snowy River National Park makes wildlife management a consideration. 

“We’ve gone all plain wire, Tyeasy, so the wombats and the wildlife can just get through without wrecking our fence,” he said.

Waratah video featuring Trent Howell "Whelans Run".

Mr Howell said Waratah Jio standard and MaxY posts, running a hotwire and Ezypipe strainers has resulted in a solid fence that had no issues in containing cattle.

As the boundary fence borders on bush, Mr Howell said falling trees were a consideration in the choice of plain wire. 

“If a tree drops across it, it’s a lot easier to fix up.”

Mr Howell said the new clips in the Jio posts made re-fencing after tree damage easy. 

“With a hardwood fence we could take hours and hours to get a couple of metres some times.”

“Digging out holes, digging out strainers and that, where now you can get a lot of fence done in a day,” he said.

Mr Howell said they took in the pricing of both labour and materials when weighing up fencing options and costs and were happy with the result.

“It’s nearly fire-proofing the place, I think it’s a lot better,” he said.

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