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Digital electric fencing saves Canterbury dairy farmers time and money

Sunday, 25 June, 2023

A fully digitised electric fencing system is saving Canterbury dairy farmers Ben and Allie King time and money, managing their herd and access to their farm all from their mobile phones. 

The couple are 50/50 sharemilking 650 cows on 180 hectares in Rotherham. They installed Gallagher’s M6000i iSeries Energizer, which they use along with Gallagher’s iSeries Fence Monitors. This splits the farm into two fencing zones. The couple and their team use the Gallagher Ag Devices App on their mobile phones to control the entire system. They also all have Gallagher iSeries Energizer Remote and Fault Finder, which makes finding faults quick and easy. 

Since arriving at the farm in June last year, Allie explains that the farm owners have made a considerable investment in the farm’s infrastructure, including fencing. 

“There has been a lot of work going on which has meant fences needed to be moved and wires cut so diggers could do prep work for installing irrigation. Our electric fence system has constantly needed to be turned on and off.” 

“The Gallagher M6000i iSeries Energizer, which pairs with Gallagher’s Ag Devices App on our mobile phones, has been an incredible time saver. 

“If we have a fault that’s 2km from the unit, we can turn it on and off from our phones right on the spot. Or if we need to turn the fence off to let a digger through or shift a fence, we don’t have to travel all the way back to the unit.” 

The couple has split the farm into two zones using the iSeries Fence Monitor. This helps them isolate the farm into two areas and better identify where the faults are. 

“It makes it really easy to see if the fault is on one side of the farm and saves time in finding it.” 

 Ben and Allie employ two full time farm staff and employ casual staff during busy periods like calving. They all have fault finders, which they carry in their pockets. 

“The fault finders are another essential piece of kit. I’m not sure how you’d find faults without it. You’d just be running blind. You just put it on the fence, it tells you the kilovolts and amps running through the fence and then points you in the direction where amps are high,” says Allie.  

“Follow the fence in the direction it points, and you’ll find what’s causing the fault. It’s that simple.” 

With all staff having access to the Gallagher Ag Devices App, each member of the team can see what’s happening with the fencing system at any time by looking at their phones.  

The system also has an amp setting and a voltage setting. If the amps go higher than the setting or the voltage goes lower, it will trigger an alarm and send an alert to their phones. It means Ben, Allie and their team always know exactly what’s happening with their fences and can fix any issues immediately. 

“It’s so much more than a normal fence power unit. It has a digital screen, and you can connect it to your phone using Wi-Fi or with a cellular hot spot to give you total peace of mind,” says Allie. 

The Gallagher M6000i iSeries Energizer unit allows Ben and Allie to see how much power is coming out of the unit and know immediately if there is an issue with their fencing that could risk stock getting out.  

“It’s super handy for things like when you have cows on crops, and you need to know quickly if they break out day or night.” 

Allie says adding the iSeries Fence Monitor and Gateways to the system has also been a game changer. 

“From our phones we can see if there is a problem with the system and we can see what zone it’s in, saving the hassle and time of searching entire fence lines looking for the issue,” says Allie. 

She says they don’t have Wi-Fi available on the farm, so they use a data card to control the system. 

“It’s so simple, you just put the data card in and away you go.” 

“It’s very cool to have something so digitised and automated. When farmers’ days are already busy enough, it gives us with such valuable peace of mind and one less thing to worry about.”

Learn more about the iSeries system here.