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Scott, QLD Farmer

Scott, QLD Farmer

100kms of Whites' fence better for livestock and livelihood at Lyndon Station

Scott and Sharon Counsell run 60,000 acres, managing Patricia Downs at Isisford and Lyndon Station at Barcaldine, after taking over from Scott’s father ten years ago. Like many Queensland sheep producers, the 2016 droughts meant the Counsell’s needed to rethink their business.

The answer is goats. The stock change has also meant a rethink of fencing.

“Our first lot of goats came in 2017. They’ve been going really well. Good cash flow, there’s less husbandry, less management, high fertility rate compared to sheep – and if you’ve got an anger management issue you need to be working with goats because you won’t have one by the end of the day. You just have to go with the flow.”

Scott engaged Central West Rural and Whites with the conversion. The solution 5000 180cm quality black Stockposts, 200 500m rolls of Australian made Murray 8/90/15 Stiff Stay fabricated fence and Murray 1.80mm barb wire. There was also a pallet of the new Stockboss posts, with added corrosion resistant wrap to tap into and trial on the black to grey cracking soils and across the open downs.

In the last year, nearly 100km of new fence has been installed as the Counsell’s continue developing the farm for the goats.

“At the start we were running the sheep and goats together, but with the ongoing fencing improvements that we have been doing, we’ve been getting to put sheep in one paddock and goats in another paddock. It’s just better management, better on the livestock and better on the human resource we have.”

Scott estimates 12,000 goats and 10,000 sheep on the Barcaldine property. “Goats for meat and trading merino wethers for wool and meat.”

Prior to that, the Counsell’s focused on a self-replacing merino flock, running 5000 ewes and 5000 wethers, selling off surplus stock every year.

“We are running a lot of goats and sheep, and we want to keep them separate for management reasons, so it is easier on mustering.”

“If you want to sell a mob of goats you can just go muster one paddock and get them in, instead of mustering a heap of country and mismothering your nannies and mixing your stock up. You can just go in and round one paddock up and do what you’ve got to do.”

“We are using Murray 8/90/15 Stiff Stay and one 1.80mm barbed on top. It is all for the goats and the apron stops the roo movement. Once a kangaroo makes a hole under your fence, the goats will follow it, so we are trying to block that movement up. Say, we put 500 billies in one paddock and 500 nannies in one paddock, I don’t want them getting boxed. All our new fencing have aprons on them now. Easy to install. It has been really good, no problems at all.”

Scott says the big 500m coils of Stiff Stay prefab are pretty easy to work with. They attach a clamp, put it on the vehicle and pull it along.  And the aprons are hinged so not only do they install easily there is no back pressure on the fence which means it last longer.

“Staff at the station, is myself and another worker. We will get contractors in during the busy times. If I’m out working the goats, we might have six contractors come in to work with the stock. They seem to be happy working with the Whites’ products.”

Scott is price conscious given the large tracts of fencing he’s putting in. Though, that’s not the entire equation. Point of origin is important so Murray fencing was an obvious choice. “Aussie made…  I think it’s got more integrity, better standards than some others.”

“We are looking for longevity. There are competitor products that I don’t think are going to last, that are just not strong enough.”

Ultimately wire and posts have to stack up. They’re sticking with Whites’ Stockpost and Murray wire fencing.