Neighbouring coal mine no problem thanks to new S40

Neighbouring coal mine no problem thanks to new S40

1 April 2017

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When it comes to keeping stock where they should be, sharing a farm boundary with a working coal mine brings a few challenges. Waikato farmer Mike Jenkins knows this all too well.

The Rorowaro sharemilker grazes 100 yearlings on a farm block that borders the Solid Energy mine at Huntly. If any of Mike’s stock escape, the consequences can be far more severe than simply wandering onto a neighbouring farm.

Straying onto the mine site can see the yearlings get as far as the mine face itself which poses a safety risk to the mine operators should stock wander into the path of working excavators and haulage trucks.

“We usually had an electric fence around one part of the grazing area in particular, but that has also bought a lot of hassles with it. There has always been the risk the unit’s batteries would run out, and the next thing you have your stock out and running over mine land,” says Mike.

When Mike had the opportunity to trial Gallagher’s new solar-powered S40 Portable Solar Energizer, he figured it had to offer a better solution than the unreliable and expensive battery option he had been putting up with.

“I was basically told to hook it up and give it everything we could throw at it. It has certainly had that, and has proven it’s easily the most reliable, tough, portable unit I have ever had.”

The S40 has just been released and is soon to be followed by its big brother, the S100. The S40 has a history of solid performance with the smaller S10 and S20 units well-established as industry leaders for their consistent long-lasting performance and tough, farmer-friendly design.

Following positive feedback from farmers using the two smaller units, Gallagher developed the S40 and S100. They have the same robustness of their smaller cousins, but their extended capacity will cover a greater length of fence.

The S40 and S100 contain features that match the varying demands placed on electric fence units depending on stock behaviour and time of day. This includes the ability to adjust the pulse rate with a normal ‘day-time’ pulse, switching to a lower night pulse rate when stock are less active; or the option to run at half power on a fast pulse rate, day and night.

The S40 holds double the stored energy of the S20, with its 0.4 joules of stored energy capable of fencing up to two hectares (ha) of land or five kilometres (km) of fence length.

Yearlings are notoriously difficult to keep behind a wire - they challenge and investigate everything and are quick to find a gap in any electric fence.

“The battery-powered units would break easily, usually at the point they connect onto the wire,” says Mike.

Since switching to the S40, Mike has had no problems with stock getting out, despite using poly tape that he admits is less than new. Now he’s familiar with the unit, it has been on the go constantly, coping well with being thrown on the back of the ute, nudged by nosy yearlings and dealing with the general bangs and bumps that go with everyday use.

“It is very close to indestructible,” says Mike.

The Rotowaro land Mike farms is far from flat, and its steep hills mean the yearlings are often on the high side of the fence, but always safely contained by the S40.

“There is a fair bit of pressure on the electric fence line on this country, and it has coped extremely well. The boundary fence in particular is the best test for it, and it’s never let me down.”

After trialling the S40, Mike has no doubt it will be on many farmers’ shopping list.

“Everyone else who has seen it has been blown away with how good it is, and this farm is a very good test for it.

“It’s very reliable, easy to use and I appreciate that Gallagher is a New Zealand company – that’s not so common these days.”

For more information on the Gallagher range of Portable Solar Energizers, talk to your local TSR or visit your local Fonterra Farm Source store.

Article supplied by Gallagher