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Alberta rancher debuts Power Grazer

Want to try managed grazing techniques to boost grass productivity, but don’t want to spend a lot of time and money driving posts and stringing wires?

Norm Ward, a custom grazer and inventor from Granum, Alta., has come up with a self-contained portable electric fencing system that makes dividing up quarter section-sized pastures fast and simple.

“About four years ago, we made one and then we needed a couple more,” said Ward, who had a Power Grazer electric fence trailer on display at the recent Western Canada Holistic Management conference.

“Then the neighbour wanted one and it kind of grew from there.”

Easily pulled by an ATV or tractor with three-point hitch, the device contains everything a rancher needs to get started in mob grazing.

A solar panel mounted on the top feeds two 12-volt batteries and a powerful fence energizer stowed in a cabinet underneath and a large reel on the back powered by a two-thirds-hp DC motor can roll up two miles of braided turbo wire at the touch of a button. One hundred pigtail-style steel fence posts are stashed at the ready on four racks that are easily accessible from the side.

The rig, which is capable of being towed at highway speeds, sells for $11,000 with all components included.

To use it, Ward first attaches a hook on the end of the turbo wire to the existing perimeter fence, then drives slowly along to unravel it while a helper jabs the temporary step-in posts at regular intervals.

Then, at the end of the new paddock, the ground rod is corkscrewed into the dirt and hooked up to the fencer’s negative terminal, and the positive lead is clipped onto the fence.

“With two people, you can easily fence about a mile an hour,” said Ward, adding having so many posts and so much wire handy in a portable unit makes dividing up a quarter section-sized field of crop residue or pasture much easier than if everything was bouncing around loose in the back of a pickup or small ATV trailer.

For more information visit www.rangeward.ca.

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