Its now the start of summer. Time to check your electric fences for weed growth. With the rainfall we have had recently, you may want to consider checking your fences and putting a plan together to control overgrown weeds.
Weeds are simply known as "a plant out of place". Weeds can be a major problem on electric fence that are left un-checked. Weeds and other plants can short the current put out by a fence charger, causing it to over work and having lower than needed current on the fence line.
Todays modern low impedance fence energizers produce more amps to compensate for power losses from shorts in the fence caused by weeds. This means they draw more power from the outlet or battery they are connected too. If you have a solar or battery powered fencer, the battery will go dead quicker as the power consumed is greater than the power replaced. This will lead to your fence not working.
There are a several ways to check your fence and control the power robbing weeds. First, walk you fence line an visually check the fence line. We also like the Gallagher fault finder tool available from Valley Farm Supply. Use it to easily find issues.
If your see a lot of weeds, then more than likely they can be an issue. You can control them chemically or manually. To spray a herbicide, disconnect your energizer, so you don't get. shocked as you spray. Products like Roundup herbicide are safe, non selective herbicides that will kill most species of plants. I recommend 2 oz per gallon of the 41%ai product, or more for lower strength formulations. Read the label the make sure you use it correctly. Other products like Pramitol will keep weeds from sprouting for several years. Make sure you are comfortable using any herbicide first and be aware of grazing restrictions, re-entry periods, streams or run off issues.
Another great way is to control weeds using a string trimmer. It can be much harder, but is the fastest way to correct the problem of over grown plants shorting out your electric fences. Hire a young person to help if you can't get to it yourself. Most string trimmers or weed walkers are cheap and will last you many years.
We hope this helps you think more about maintaining your electric fence. Weed control can improve the power output of your fence charger. This means that your electric fence will do what your needed it for.