Whether you’re looking for a permanent fencing solution or want something portable for your grazing system, there are many cost and management benefits to utilizing electric fence.

Build it right, and electric fence can save you a lot of money and labor. Do it wrong, and you can have a continuous mess on your hands. Here to weigh in on the subject are Jim Gerrish, grazing and fencing consultant for American Grazing Lands Services LLC in east-central Idaho, and Steve Freeman, a cow–calf producer and fencing equipment veteran from western Missouri. 

In our last posts, we covered selecting wire type, setting up a grounding system and the importance of a good charger. Now, it is time to look at the economics. 

$how me the money

On top of labor management and the flexibility to use different grazing systems, electric fence is also more economical for producers. In a 2012 “Estimated Costs for Livestock Fencing,” by Iowa State University, it was found that producers would save more than 50% on fencing costs per foot when using a 5-strand high-tensile wire, compared to a 5-strand barbed-wire fence.

Chart numbers from Iowa State University.