Closer attention to grazing utilisation and a flexible approach to grazing management will help improve the return from fertiliser applied to mid-season grazing. 

Mark Oliver, UK sales manager for electric fencing specialists Gallagher advises ensuring your grazing infrastructure will allow you to react to manage covers effectively and reduce wastage of grass.

“Mid-season growth is particularly dependent on the weather so it will be important to have a system that allows you to manage both peaks and troughs,” he comments.  “Utilising summer and autumn grass effectively means managing variability in growth rates.”

He stresses good utilisation is based on the effective management of grazing covers, measurement of growth and having a flexible attitude and infrastructure.  He points out that every season is different and requires a degree of flexibility to achieve good rates of utilisation.  The more flexible your fencing system is, the better you can react to the season and manage grass covers.”

Installing a system of temporary electric fencing can be a cost-effective way to improve grazing flexibility. An investment of around £750 will buy a 400-metre mobile solution comprising of an energiser, earthing, fencing stakes, geared reels and conducting wire.

For ease of erecting and moving fences, he recommends either a tumble wheel system which allows an entire fence to be moved in minutes or a geared reel mobile solution.  He advises that the easier a fence is to move and reposition, the more likely it will be done and the more effective the system will be.

“A temporary electric fencing system can run either as a stand-alone arrangement or run off an existing permanent fence.  Quickly and easily set up and moved, they can ensure cows are grazing where you need them and can improve the quality of grazing and total grassland productivity.

“The use and regular movement of electric fences can help eliminate back grazing to encourage more vigorous regrowth.  Where necessary they can be used to split paddocks and shut areas away for opportunistic silage cuts.”

He says there has been increased interest in running temporary electric fences powered by a solar energiser because it can simplify moving fences and ensure a constant voltage supply. 

Modern energisers are more efficient and economical to run.  The next generation Gallagher solar energisers can power a fence for 12 months of the year and run a fence for up to three weeks with no light due to the built-in smart battery management system. All Gallagher energisers come with a seven year warranty.

“A flexible management system based on temporary electric fencing will allow you to respond quickly as the season evolves. It will help maintain grazing quality, reduce wastage and improve how well pastures recover, all of which will be crucial to increasing grazing utilisation during the summer months.”