Is the Expense Justified? Part 2 of Fencing Costs and Effectiveness for Unusual Challenges

Last week Jim described the benefits of fencing out kangaroos and elk and shared costs and effectiveness for different kinds of fencing. This week, he follows up with the answers to an equally important question: "Will this kind of fencing result in more profit?" Read this even if you don't have to fence out 'roos and elk. It will help you think about potential profit from your own fencing projects. One of the more profound revelations after living and running a grazing operation in Idaho for 15 years is the greater obstacle to year-around grazing here is not the weather. It is the grazing pressure of our local wild elk population. All of the following photos are from our grazing unit or immediately nearby. We do not have as many elk on our unit as there are down on the main ranch. On the main ranch, 200-300 elk are often present in the fall and winter. Some of our client ranches experience number approaching 1,000 elk in a single herd in fall and winter. It is not our ability to grow feed nor graze in the winter conditions here that limits kicking the hay habit. It is the presence of large elk herds on private land in fall and winter. We frequently have elk on our pastures in early spring. They do enjoy the early start of irrigated pastures when much of the feed up on the mountain is still brown residual from last year. We had to train the elk to the idea of movable fences on the landscape in the first few weeks we were on the ranch. We have a policy of

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