Georgetown property moves to electric fencing

INNOVATION: Carol and Greg Ryan, Green Hills Station, Georgetown, are using single-strand electric fencing internally.
INNOVATION: Carol and Greg Ryan, Green Hills Station, Georgetown, are using single-strand electric fencing internally.

ELECTRIC fencing is replacing three barb at Green Hills Station, Georgetown as the owners look to the future.

Greg and Carol Ryan first investigated using electric fencing throughout the property in 2009, and now have about 30km of internal fencing which is single-wire electric. 

Ms Ryan said after being exposed to the concept, they trialled a small area before eventually expanding into what she called an “extensive system” on the property, 20 kilometres west of Georgetown. 

There was plenty of skepticism in the local area over the plan, but Ms Ryan said it had been a smooth transition. 

“A lot of people are very skeptical of it, and we just have a single wire which made more people skeptical,” Ms Ryan said. 

“We didn't train our cattle to it, we just fenced and they adapted.”

There were few issues with the new infrastructure, and she said anything that arose was something they had already considered before putting it in. 

“We had a few little problems with calves ducking under - that was always going to happen, but they still respect it as they get older,” she said.

She said that while the calves wandering was not ideal, they always returned to the right paddock to their mothers and once too big to fit under, they learned to avoid the fences.

The infrastructure was put in place to fence the land to soil types and assist with a rotation system. 

Mr Ryan said any existing three barb internal fencing needing to be replaced in the future would be replaced with electric fences. 

“The reason we went with the extra fencing was so we could put a system of rotational spelling in,” Mr Ryan said.

“We call it rotational spelling rather than rotational grazing, because we just spell our paddocks in the rotation. 

“Your better species get a chance to survive – they don't just get mown off the minute they poke their head out of the ground.”

The family run a breeding operation of about 1400 grey Brahman breeders, and buy bulls in from various places including the Ingham region. 

They produce mostly for the live export market, and were selling at about the 400kg mark this year. 

Mr Ryan said that was heavier than usual due to better seasonal conditions. 

This calendar year Green Hills Station has already seen a little more than 1000mm of rain, above the annual average of 800mm.

It is a welcome change from the past five years where they struggled to achieve ‘normal’ seasons. 

Mr Ryan said heading into the wet season, it was a good feeling to already have plenty of green pick around the property.