Farm fences. Page: 1
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Bxv ELoDART) (. NIOLA.NDE, scliior agricultural engineer, Agricultural Engineering
Research Branch, .lgricultiural Research Service 1
EVELOP5MENTS in the methods
and materials used in
tthis country to construct farm
fences have been made to keep pace
with other developments in agricultural
production. Colonial farmers
fenced with stones and rails, and
sometimes made fences by piling
tile uprooted stumps of trees in
tangled rows. Hedges were also
used as fences by colonial farmersGeorge
Washington's interest in
hedge fences led him to import several
species of shrubs and trees.
Interest in living fences has persisted
to the present time; multiflora
rose is one of the most popular
plants now used for this purpose.
For more detailed information
about this shrub, see Leaflet 256,
Multiflora Rose for Living Fences
and Wildlife Cover, available from
the Office of Information, United
States Department of Agriculture,
Washington 25, D. C.
The invention of machinery to
manufacture steel wire at low cost
resulted in drastic changes in farm
fencing. Wire fences replaced stone
and rail fences to a large extent,
and also made it possible for stockmen
to employ fewer cowboys
and sheepherders than were needed
when fencing costs were prohibitive.
Other developments which made it
possible for the modern farmer to
have durable fences at reasonable
cost are steel posts and chemicals
for preserving wood posts. The
electric fence has been widely accepted
as a convenience in temporary
fencing of rotation pastures
and annual crops where permanent
fencing would be expensive and
perhaps not wanted.
High-speed traffic on highways
has created a hazard which many
farmers have had to solve by designing
special gateways in fences
around fields and farmsteads. Contour
farming is another development
which has introduced new
problems that require special methods
of fence construction.
Kinds of Fences
The decision on the kind of fence
to build should be made after considering
such factors as land value,
the kind of crops grown, the kind of
machinery to be used, and availability
of labor for maintenance.
In marginal, cut-over, or low-priced
land, the unit cost of fencing is of
Revision of a previous edition by
M. A. R. Kelley (deceased), formerly
agricultural engineer, Division of Farm
Buildings. Special acknowledgment is
made to Prof. Henry Giese of Iowa State
College, who supplied much of the information
on fence erection and corner bracing
presented in this bulletin.
more importance than the type.
If the land is valuable the fence
should occupy as little space as
possible. Fences around cultivated
row crops require wider strips than
fences around hay or grain crops,
because implements used in row
crops must have a strip for turning,
whereas a mower or binder can cut
close to the fence line. Wovenwire
or smooth-wire fences require
less turning space than do barbed-
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Molander, Edward G. Farm fences., book, April 1954; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1724/m1/3/?q=farm: accessed March 29, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.