Excluding wild pigs from Macadamia farm
Macadamia producer Ian Macleod from Mororo located in the Clarence Valley of NSW was faced with a major pig problem. Each year he produces up to 90 Tonne of macadamias for processing, however the increase of feral pigs continued to cost his business thousands of dollars.
Having spent considerable amount of time & money establishing the soon to be 85-hectare macadamia farm, Ian knew he had a serious problem when they were faced with mobs of feral pigs each night eating thousands of dollars’ worth of produce. “We tried all other methods out there – dogging, trapping, spotlighting… I would set up cameras and hear the pigs in the middle of the night chewing on the crop and rooting up the soil. We would have to get up at 1-2am to chase them off. There was no stopping them. They were coming from everywhere and you just couldn’t control them.” Said Ian.
“After doing that for several months I was desperate to get a better control method.” Said Ian.
Harvest season for macadamias in NSW runs from around March – September. However, this was significantly reduced for Ian’s business due to feral pigs, “Last year we were harvesting much later because we found that the pigs were not only eating the crop that would fall on the ground, but they were also rooting up under the macadamia trees creating soft soil that would jam up the harvester, meaning we couldn’t work.”
In desperate need for an easier & more sustainable method of control Ian looked to install some exclusion fencing.
The installation of eight kilometres of Waratah fencing was erected to protect the 85 hectares of macadamia trees.
The fence uses 1.8m Jio® posts & post clips Longlife Blue®. With 15/150/15 Stockgrip erected and laid out with a radius, specifically designed to prevent animals penetrating the fence. The Stockgrip knot allows for some movement of both picket and horizontal wires allowing the fence to absorb impact and spread load ensuring larger pests such as feral pigs cannot overpower the fence.
This made a significant difference in the businesses productivity as they were able to take advantage of a longer harvesting season, “Once the fence was up, we were able to harvest the crop,” said Ian. “This time last year any crop that was falling on the ground was getting eaten by the pigs. Now we have just picked up 5 tonnes.”
“Since installing the 15/150/15 Stockgrip fence last June, we haven’t had one pig get in.,” said Ian.
Advice For Farmers, From Farmers
“Not only has the fence paid for itself within the first 6 months of putting it up but knowing that the feral pigs can no longer get into the property has given us great peace of mind.”
Mororo, New South Wales