5 Questions with Steven Sarson

Special Advertising Section - Special Advertising Section | Ask the experts: Fencing

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. Adding a fence around your cultivation operation could be a major factor in protecting it against unwanted animals and people. Here, Steven Sarson, agricultural sales manager and the Bekaert Fence pro from Bekaert Corporation, shares how to make sure that your fence does the job you intended it to do and lasts for decades.

July 10, 2018

1. What is the best type of fencing for my facility type (indoor, outdoor/greenhouse)?

This depends on what you’re looking for. A perimeter fence can be as low as 35 inches, and a security fence can be as high as 120 inches. An 8-foot-high fence is going to pretty much say that your property is private.

It’s also crucial to understand what local regulations might be for fencing on your property and what state compliance requires. Check with your local and state governments before making this investment.

2. For a cannabis operation, what is the best material to use for fencing?

When making your fencing selection, you’ll need to consider two factors: the type of wire and the coating. A High Tensile Fixed Knot fence is your best design choice and is available in heights up to 10 feet. High Tensile wire is lighter yet stronger than traditional softer low carbon wire. We recommend using a Class 3 or Zinc-Aluminum coated wire for superior rust prevention and longevity.

3. What are some additional enhancements that you can add to a fence?

One thing you can do is run a hot wire across the top or along the side of the fence. This is a non-lethal DC voltage and is used in many farming operations to control animals. You can also top it with a 3-inch-wide spaced barbed wire, meaning there’s a barb every 3 inches instead of the standard 5. The smaller-spaced barb placement will further prevent an intruder from pushing his or her hand through to push it apart. A strand of barbed wire along the bottom of the fence will keep animals from digging under it.

4. What are some of the biggest mistakes cultivators make when choosing and installing fencing?

Neglecting to consider your braces—which are used on the ends and corners of the fence line and absorb impact. It is the braces that keep your fence intact and looking good.

Not accounting for deer can also be a costly mistake. Consider how to keep them out from the beginning of your cycle, as they tend to prefer vegetative plants. With some of the more traditional fencing styles, deer can push right through the wire if they hit it the right way. The Fixed Knot design is best for outdoor growers.

5. Overall, why is fencing a worthy investment?

Most often, a return on investment (ROI) in a good fence is seen within the first year that you have a crop. The ROI will continue to maximize over the fence’s 20- to 30-year life span. If you build a good, solid High Tensile Fixed Knot fence with good, solid bracing on your cannabis operation’s property, there won’t be much you need to do to maintain the fence over time.