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The Power of One Wire

By   /  March 18, 2019  /  2 Comments

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Dr. Matt Poore also contributed to this article. Johnny and Sharon Rogers with some of their red an
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About the author

Johnny is an Extension Associate in Animal Science at North Carolina State University. He coordinates their Amazing Grazing Program, a pasture-based livestock educational initiative that helps graziers improve profitability, animal health and well-being and environmental sustainability. Johnny and his wife Sharon also own and operate Rogers Cattle company, raising red angus bulls and bred heifers, and finishing beef and lamb for wholesale and farmers markets. A portion of their farm is dedicated to solar energy production.


  1. Richard Moyer says:

    Agreed on the value of “Amazing Grazing” resources and workshops.

    Here’s another single wire benefit:
    More efficient use of hay. Wherever we want to improve pastures by feeding hay (see Jim Gerrish’s recent articles) or also exclude animals from a part of that pasture while feeding, we roll a bale out along a single wire. Depending on number of cattle, we put the single wire down the middle and let them finish it up, without soiling it. They feed with their heads toward the wire; their other end NOT over the hay. Then we move the wire over, and they finish the other half of the strip of rolled out hay, still clean so all eaten.

    If just a few animals in a group, we place the wire along one edge of the rolled out hay, and move it over as the cattle finish what they can reach. Again, clean hay, highly utilized.

    This minimizes soiled, wasted hay, concentrates manure and urine where needed most. And we no longer, this time of year, need to go back and remove or (try to) burn excess, thick hay that was soiled or trampled in, that risks choking out established pasture plants hoping to begin spring growth.

  2. Peter Long says:

    Totally believe in the Power of One Wire and for all the same reasons identified by Johnny and Matt. Used it with great success strip grazing on our 640 acre farm at Gunnedah, NSW, Australia. Had to give it up last year when it got so dry that I couldn’t get the pig tail posts into the soil, even when (gently!) using a sledge hammer on the foot tread. We still had plenty of groung cover but I took it as a sign that continuing to graze when there was simply no sub-soil moisture would only cause harm. So, we sold the cattle and there still hasn’t been any relevant rain in the year since. Now, the weather boffins say we’re heading into an El Ninio, which means this will be our 4th year in a row of minimal rainfall. Looking on the bright side, we still have some of the best ground cover in the district, which has certainly been saving us from the dust storms afflicting many of the properties around us in a 60 mile radius. One day, it will rain properly and keep doing so and our pasture should bounce back quicker than on flogged out paddocks, allowing us to get in and buy replacements before the rest of the market has the feed to do the same.

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