Fence

Rotational grazing requires using fences – permanent, temporary, or a combination – to keep cattle where the grazier wants them to harvest forage.

In continuous grazing, a single pasture is grazed 100% of the time with no rest period.

A single fence dividing that pasture into two increases the rest period from zero to 50%, and reduces the grazing period for both pastures to 50%.

Each additional paddock in the grazing system further increases the rest period and reduces the grazing period. This figure illustrates that pattern.

Fencing system
Source: Lemus, R. 2008. Developing a Grazing System. Forage News. Mississippi State University Extension Service. https://msucares.com/crops/forages/newsletters/08/6.pdf

Electric fencing is a lower-cost option for subdividing larger, permanently fenced pastures. It also allows more flexibility – paddock sizes can be adjusted to the amount of available forage, the number of cattle, and the desired length of the grazing period.

Publications and Videos Related to Fencing

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Electric Fence FAQ

This is a handout by Brian Freking from the 2011 Healthy Soils, Healthy Livestock conference.  It is a fact sheet…
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Electric Fencing: How to Splice Wires Together

Ralph Harris of Arkansas NRCS demonstrates how to splice two electric fence wires together with a knot that is smooth and conducts electricity well at a workshop sponsored by the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Association in Wilson, Oklahoma, in June 2011.

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