Good fencing is at the very heart of successful farm management

Andrew Glass, from Kilmore in Co Armagh (centre); his son William and Steven Kilpatrick (right) , from Donegal Farm Relief standing at the new stock proof fence which was erected by the Farm Relief team

Andrew Glass, from Kilmore in Co Armagh (centre); his son William and Steven Kilpatrick (right) , from Donegal Farm Relief standing at the new stock proof fence which was erected by the Farm Relief team

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Good fencing goes to the very heart of successful livestock management.

Grazed grass is the cheapest and best quality source of feed for ruminant livestock in this country.

Yet without a fit-for-purpose fencing layout, farmers will not be able to make optimal use of this most important resource. Fences also act as a two way barrier: they keep stock in the places they should be while, at the same time, keeping them away from areas where they are not supposed to be.

The establishment of a good fencing network entails a commitment on the part of farmers to invest in the right materials allied with the skills required to do the job properly.

“It also takes a lot of time,” commented Andrew Glass, who owns a suckler beef enterprise at Kilmore in North Co Armagh.

“Two years ago I decided to establish 1,800 metres of new fencing on the farm; part perimeter: part internal. I was particularly keen to keep the cows and young calves away from the bank of a river which runs through the farm. But, in addition, the new fencing network would allow me to establish a more comprehensive paddock grazing system on the farm.

“I also wanted the work carried out to the highest possible standard, which was why I specifically asked Donegal Farm Relief to quote for the business. The availability of grant aid through the Countryside Management Scheme was a big factor in making the work undertaken a feasible option for the business.”

Following initial discussions with Farm Relief’s Steven Kilpatrick, Andrew agreed the detailed specification of the work that would be undertaken. This included the provision to use sheep wire throughout and, where possible, to keep the existing fence network on the farm in place.

“The option to go for sheep standard fencing was a priority, as this approach would ensure that young calves would not get separated from their mothers. And the protected corridor created by placing the new fence away from that which already existed provided the perfect conditions to establish a new hedging network as well.”

It took the Farm Relief team just ten days to establish the 1,800 metres of new fencing and the associated hedge.

“We used creosoted posts, which are guaranteed for a minimum of ten years, along with high quality sheep and barbed Tinsley wire,” Steven explained.

“The new hedge comprises an agreed mix of blackthorn, whitethorn, hazel, dog rose and other appropriate deciduous species.”

Two years on Andrew Glass is more than happy to confirm the benefits of the fencing work undertaken: “I am delighted with the job. It is my intention to have more fencing work undertaken by Farm Relief this spring.”

For more information, contact Donegal Farm Relief on 0035374-9145386.