More from: Farming Supplies

Electrified Fencing Tips for Cattle Farmers

Mytee Products sells a variety of products for agricultural operations including fence energizers and fence wire, tape, and braid. Though we are not experts in agriculture, we do know that choosing the right components for an electric fence ultimately determines its effectiveness. We also know there are both right and wrong ways to use the fencing materials we sell.

Experienced cattle farmers already know how to use electrified fencing properly. Anyone new to the cattle game will have to learn on the job. Thankfully, there is no shortage of online resources that farmers can use to figure out what they are doing with their fencing. We can offer a few tips as well.

 

Plan All Your Fencing

The first step in constructing effective fencing is to plan everything. Do not make the mistake of buying your fencing supplies first, then trying to plan around what you purchased. Creating a plan first allows you to come to Mytee Products knowing exactly what you need to make your plan a reality.

Your plan should account for where your fencing will be built, whether it will be permanent or temporary, whether it will be electrified or not, and the total amount of square footage fencing will entail. The total length of any given fence influences electrification.

Choose the Right Voltage

Electrified fences with inadequate voltage will not do much to deter cattle from grazing too closely. Furthermore, the length of the fence will affect voltage. That’s why Mytee Products sells a variety of energizers. The farmer needs energizers that will provide adequate voltage for the entire length of the fence in question. In some cases, multiple energizers are necessary.

Learn Proper Installation Techniques

It is all well and good to properly plan and purchase the right supplies for electrified fencing. Where most cattle farmers fall down is in installation. For example, proper grounding is critical to both fence operation and safety. The farmer should fully understand the fundamentals of fence construction before the project begins.

The farmer who is uncomfortable about attempting a DIY fencing project should not take any chances. A better option is to work with a colleague who already has experience with electrified fences. Where that is impossible, paying for professional installation is worth the cost.

Carry out Routine Maintenance

Last but not least is carrying out routine maintenance on electrified fences. Like anything else, fences are subject to all sorts of harmful things including bad weather, farming equipment, and even large animals that might not be bothered by the fencing.

Energizers should be inspected and tested on a regular basis. After exceptionally bad weather, energizers might even have to be looked at for possible repair. You do not know if you don’t check. We recommend patrolling fence lines and testing energizers at least every few weeks.

Another big part of routine maintenance is fixing breaks. Remember that electrified fencing only works if the circuit that carries power through the fence remains unbroken. Any breaks in a fence line need to be fixed right away. Cattle farmers should also be looking for wear or tear that could lead to a break in the future.

Electrified fencing is a great tool for controlling cattle. When fencing is properly installed and maintained, it actually trains cattle to stay away in much the same way invisible fencing can keep dogs from going outside a specific perimeter. If you are looking to install electrified fencing for your cattle operation, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to answer questions about our energizers and other electrified fencing supplies.


Solar Powered Energizers Might Be Right for Your Fencing

Are you a cattle rancher or dairy farmer with miles of electrified fence? If so, how do you power your fencing? We have a way for you to electrify fences without the need for external power sources. The answer is found in solar powered energizers that use the natural power of nature to keep your cattle in and critters out.

Before you dismiss solar powered energizers as a fanciful idea that does not work, please hear us out. Solar energy has evolved tremendously over the last 5 to 10 years to the point of being a viable solution for electrified fences. Between new solar collectors and long-life batteries, it is now possible to energize your fences via the sun with little to no loss of reliability.

No New Wiring Necessary

The solar powered energizer works just as its name implies. Each energizer has a built-in solar panel that absorbs energy from the sun throughout the day. What is not being used to keep fences electrified is diverted into batteries to keep fences electrified once the sun goes down.

The combination of solar collector panels and batteries makes a solar powered energizer ideal for new fencing without the need to run more wiring out into the field. It is also ideal for situations in which grazing fields change and only the field currently in use needs to be electrified. A solar powered energizer lets you put electrification where you need it, when you need it.

Even When the Power Goes Out

Electric fencing that relies on grid energy is completely dependent on the grid staying up and running. If the power goes out, so does the electrified fencing. That is not a problem when you use a solar powered energizer. The solar unit keeps right on working even when there is no grid power on your property. You will not have to worry about your cattle getting out every time a storm blows through and knocks out the grid.

Cloudy Days Aren’t a Problem

Short stretches of cloudy weather are not a problem because of the storage capacity that solar powered energizers carry on board. Prolonged cloudy weather may be another issue, so it’s wise to have a backup electrification solution ready to go if it’s ever needed. But other than those rare occasions when the weather is persistently cloudy for prolonged periods, you will not ever have to worry about dead fencing.

Friendly to the Environment

Farmers know more than anyone else how important it is to protect the natural environment. When fences are electrified with grid power, they may be powered with electricity produced using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Not only does this mean that valuable resources are being consumed to keep fences electrified, it also means emissions escaping into the atmosphere.

Solar powered energizers are environmentally friendly in every way. They are the ideal way to keep fences electrified without contributing to fossil fuel burning and its emissions.

Two Models to Choose From

The Mytee Products inventory currently includes two different solar powered energizers to choose from. The first is a six-volt DC unit offering low impedance technology good for 3 acres of coverage. The second is a 12-volt unit with ultra-low impedance for coverage of up to 100 acres. Ultra-low impedance is offered regardless of ground conditions.

If you are looking for a new way to energize your fences without having to run new power lines, solar powered units may be just what you’re looking for. They are inexpensive, easy to use, portable, and friendly to the environment.


How Electrified Fencing Controls Cattle

A cattle farmer with a full complement of beef or dairy cows has a lot on his plate in terms of keeping that cattle in confined spaces. Despite their docile nature, cattle are powerful animals that can be quite belligerent when they want to be. Keeping them confined to certain spaces is a job for fencing.

Barbed wire fences were the fences of choice in past generations. But barbed wire is harmful to animals. These days, cattle farmers are more likely to use electrified fencing instead. Though it might seem that electrified fence is just as harmful as a barbed wire, it is not. The amount of electricity flowing through an electrified fence is minimal. Furthermore, the shock of an electrified fence is not enough to harm cattle.

Fencing Basics: How It Works

An electrified fence for controlling cattle consists of a series of fence posts, wires, and energizers. The farmer drives the posts in at regular intervals, runs two or three wires between the posts, and then connects those wires to the energizer. A fencing energizer can run on solar power, batteries, or mains power.

The final step in constructing electrified fencing is also its most critical: grounding. Grounding is what makes a fence effective in controlling cattle.

Current produced by the energizer is sent through the wires in quick pulses. A typical pulse might be only 150 microseconds, and pulses are sent through the lines at a rate of about one per second. As you can see, this means the wires are not constantly electrified.

When a cow touches an electrified fence, it completes a circuit by occupying space between the fence line and the ground. This causes an electric shock to flow from the line, through the animal, and into the ground. This minor shock is known as ‘biting’. Cattle are not exposed to a high enough voltage to endanger them; it is just strong enough to teach them a lesson.

Controlling Cattle with Fencing

The beauty of electrified fencing is that it trains cattle to stay within certain spaces without harming their health. Believe it or not, cattle are very intelligent creatures capable of quick learning. Controlling cattle with fencing is all about teaching them their boundaries.

No cow will appreciate the electric shock it receives from contacting electric fencing. Some cattle will learn to stay away with just one touch; others have to touch a fence numerous times before they figure it out. The one thing they all have in common is that they will eventually learn.

From a practical standpoint, a cow’s ability to learn can be helpful to farmers. For example, a farmer could erect a temporary fence that will be moved to a different field when grazing shifts. Yet even moving to a different field does not require the cattle to learn all over again. They will already know to stay away from the electrified fence regardless of where they graze.

We Have What You Need

Electrified fencing has proven itself over the years as an effective way to control cattle without inflicting the harm caused by barbed wire. Electric fencing is easy to build, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Moreover, electrified fencing is as effective at keeping animals out as it is keeping cattle in.

Mytee Products has everything you need to construct electrified fencing. From energizers to fencing wire, we carry a variety of products to meet a variety of fencing needs. If you are planning to build fencing, just be sure to plan well before you purchase equipment. A good plan will set you up for a productive and inexpensive fence.


Testing Hay Moisture: 3 Things You Need to Know

The final harvest of hay for the year is now past for all but a small handful of operations in the deep South. For everyone else, hay has been baled and put into storage. That does not mean the work is done, though. Any hay producer who wants his/her crop to maintain its value must be diligent about measuring moisture levels throughout the winter months.

Every hay producer knows that moisture is the enemy. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and fungus; it encourages critters to take up residence in stored bales, and it creates conditions that can eventually lead to a catastrophic fire. It is not enough to bale your hay and throw it under a tarp until spring. You have to keep an eye on it throughout the winter. To that end, below are three things every hay producer should know.

1. The Problem with Moisture

Before we even get to talking about the electronic moisture tester, we need to address the question of why moisture levels need to be checked. As you know, hay that has too much moisture is no better than hay that is too dry. Farmers are typically looking for an 18% to 20% moisture content.

Hay with too much moisture is an open invitation to fungus and mold. Both are living organisms that consume moisture as they propagate. Here’s the problem: fungus and mold put off heat as they feed and multiply. At the same time, they also break down proteins in the hay. The combination of increased heat and less structural integrity within the hay stacks can lead to fire.

2. Testing before Baling

The easiest and most effective way to test hay for moisture is to use an electronic moisture tester. Note that readings are more accurate with higher volumes of hay. Therefore, the general rule is to fill a bucket with hay that is tightly compacted. Then simply insert the tester probe and let it do its thing.

Once an initial reading has been obtained, mix up the hay and pack it down again. Then take another reading. Repeat the process several times to get the most accurate reading, then measure hay from different parts of your field the same way. Multiple testing accounts for different conditions in different areas.

3. Testing after Baling

Testing baled hay is a lot easier. Just choose a bale, insert the moisture tester, and take a reading. However, there is one caveat: the density of hay in a given bale is not uniform throughout. Therefore, you have to take multiple readings from each bale to get the most accurate number.

Make sure to space out your insertion points to get a good representation of the entire bale rather than just the center. If you get high readings, keep a close eye on things until the readings come down. If you have to open bales to let someone moisture out, it is better than risking spoiled hay or a fire.

One last tip is to pay attention to the variation in readings. This applies to both baled and hay in the windrow. A significant variation across a single field or storage area suggests it would be best to take new readings every couple of day until things level off. Your hay is out of the danger zone when it is consistently coming in at 18% to 20%.

Are you in the market for a new moisture tester? If so, Mytee Products has you covered. Take a look at both of our moisture testers from Agratronix. Either should meet your needs.


Know Your Tractor Tires Before You Buy

Farmers are as foundational to the U.S. economy as truck drivers. In light of that, we are extremely proud to be able to offer a range of farming supplies for agricultural operations. This includes hay tarps, fencing materials, and tires for both wagons and tractors. This blog post will focus squarely on wagon and tractor tires.

If there is one piece of advice we would give to a farmer looking for tires, then it would be to make sure he or she knows the purpose behind each tire design before making a purchase. There are lots of different tire designs out there, three of which we carry at Mytee Products.

 

The four major categories of tractor and wagon tires are:

• Turf
• Industrial
• Field
• Ribbed

Turf Tires

Turf tires look a lot like standard truck and car tires. They may have a straight, zig-zag, or crisscross tread built on a wide tire surface. These are the tires you want to use if your tractor will be doing most of its work on grassy areas. The wide tire surface and multi-tread pattern provide adequate traction while minimizing damage to turf. Needless to say, these tires are not suitable in muddy conditions or out in the field.

Industrial Tires

Industrial tires occupy the middle ground between turf tires and the heavy-duty tires you would use in the field. Traction is provided by a tread design featuring a series of bars the start at the sidewall, descend diagonally for short distance, and then run horizontally across two-thirds of the tire surface. These tires are ideal for heavy-duty operations when you still want to minimize damage to underlying soil.

Field Tires

Field tires are the granddaddy of them all. These are the biggest, baddest, most heavy-duty tires you will find on the average American farm. They feature a very distinctive and aggressive tread pattern that consists of a series of bars that run diagonally from the sidewall to the center of the tire surface. The bars are offset from one another to provide continual traction.

These are the tires the farmer uses in the field. They work well whether the soil is soft and muddy or hard and frozen. It is not wise to use field tires on grassy areas though, as damage to the underlying turf can be significant.

Ribbed Tires

Finally, ribbed tires are those tires you generally use on the front axle of a 2WD tractor – with either one or two wheels. Ribbed tires are unusual in that they do not have a tread. Rather, they have either 1, 3, or 4 ribs that run parallel with the sidewall. Mytee Products only carries a 3-ribbed tire as it is the most commonly used.

These are the tires you want on the front of your tractor while out in the field. They provide excellent control in muddy and cultivated soil by digging into the soil and holding firm.

Note that ribbed tires are inappropriate for 4WD tractors in that they do not offer any amount of pulling traction. Owners of 4WD tractors will use either industrial or field tires on the front instead.

Get Your Tractor and Wagon Tires Here

Mytee Products is happy to be able to supply farmers with the tires they need for their tractors and wagons. Feel free to browse the entire inventory here on our website, or visit our Aurora warehouse and see them in person. We are confident you will be more than pleased with the quality and price. Our tires come from trusted manufacturers who have been serving the agricultural sector for years.