As we move through spring, you may think it’s time to put away your electric fence from grazing crop residue this winter. Don’t do it just yet.  It can be a useful tool to stretch your pasture this summer.

Electric fence is the easiest and cheapest way to increase utilization in summer pastures. Dividing pastures with an electric cross fence encourages cattle to graze pastures more completely.

By increasing uniform consumption across a pasture, grazing time in the pasture can be extended, resulting in a longer recovery period following grazing. This time off allows plants to regrow and can improve their health and vigor. With high pasture rent and rumors of a hot, dry summer, stretching grass a bit early may pay off in the long run.

Temporary electric fence won’t replace the role permanent fencing options like traditional barbed wire and, high-tensile electric fencing systems still hold. However, the low cost and easily moveable nature of temporary fence make it invaluable for a cross fencing tool. 

This is especially true if you already have electric fencing your animal’s respect. Being able to change paddock size on the go is a benefit permanent fence installations don’t provide. Additionally, using fencing equipment you already have provides an inexpensive opportunity to experiment with where you might eventually place a more permanent cross fence.

The electric fence that keeps your cows on stalks during winter can give you this inexpensive opportunity to try some cross fencing where you have been reluctant to try it before. More grass might be the result.

By Ben Beckman

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