Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3


B. a'B. Marsh


Western Australia, Farming practices, Fences, Soil erosion, Water utilisation.

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A neat layout of straight fences and rectangular paddocks looks, on paper, to be economical, efficient and easy to understand. Transferred to typical wheatbelt country, the fences no longer appear straight; they curve in a vertical plane over the hills and ridges, across gullies, creeks and salt land. The straight fences ignore water supplies and make reticulation costly; they ignore the shape of the country and make cultivation inconvenient; they ignore the natural drainage of the country and make erosion control difficult. As the relation to the shape of the farm is only by measurement and direction and not by logic, the fence construction is accompanied by tedious sighting and measurement.