It is probably fair to say that most farmers think they have a rough idea of the cost, but the reality is perhaps a bit different.
Research shows that the average UK farm covers 58 Hectares (145 acres) If it is a farm with an average field size of 5 Hectares (12 acres), it will have over 10 km or 6 miles of fencing (even more if the fields are smaller).
With changes in legislation, our customers tell us that fence posts are not lasting like they used to.
Assuming a fence post-life of 10 years you will on average the average farmer will have to replace 1.0km or 0.6miles of fencing every year. The cost of replacing this fencing with a contractor using standard fence posts is typically around £3,000 per year or over £30,000 over a 10 year period.
And with wooden fence posts comes the task of having to make spot post replacements as some posts fail well before others, sometimes after only a few years.
Many farmers do this replacement work themselves often without appreciating the true costs involved.
Our experience is that there is a relentless focus on the initial cost of the fence posts, like a tin of baked beans; they are a commodity product. Sometimes farmers will drive miles out of their way to save money on fence posts without giving a second thought to how long the post will last and the lifetime costs.
Taking a new post at around £2.50 this is the lowest cost part of the process. Driving on a 20 mile round trip or paying £15 to £30 for delivery of posts from the local supplier is another add on. Then factor in the diesel for the tractor, the time to load the trailer up with tools and posts, hitch up the post basher to the tractor and the 10 to 15 minutes spent getting the field and then changing 20 or 30 posts. After putting everything away, that is the best part of a day gone. In reality that cheap £2.50 fence post has probably ended up costing nearer £20 in replacement costs.
There is surely not a good way to spend time or money, and it goes on year after year all over the country. As well as the cost to the farmer, there is the environmental damage that starts with trees being cut down to make replacement fence posts, sawmilling, treatment and transport all adding to the damage caused.
There is an easy solution to this problem, simply fitting a ground line barrier sleeve such as Postsver keeps the causes of rot out dramatically extending the life of fence posts and stock fencing.