When the water recedes, landowners in flooded areas begin looking to restore their property to use. For land being put (back) into pasture or other grazed fields, this is the time to consider how to use fencing and water systems to achieve more productive grazing.
Installing fence can be a significant investment of time, work and financial resources (especially if you look to have someone install it for you)—all the more reason to spend some time up-front planning your grazing strategy and considering fence and water options. Proper selection, placement and installation of posts, tanks, lines, etc. will allow you to manage grazing livestock more effectively with less time required for handling animals and maintenance.
The goal for fence and water systems is that they serve as tools that work with your grazing management plan. Without good planning, however, fence and water can become fixed constraints that limit how the forage and livestock can be managed, you can even consider getting a chain link fence.
Before you invest in materials and put on the gloves, spend some time considering your options for grazing a site, so you can select a system that is appropriate for your situation and management capabilities. Nebraska Extension has numerous resources related to grazing semi-arid rangeland, irrigated pasture, cover crops, crop residues, and more.
Once a vision is in place for how the forage and livestock will be managed, plans can be developed for installing permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary/portable fencing, as well as for permanent and portable water systems. Fence and Water Development for Effective Grazing is a relatively new Nebraska Extension publication that discusses common fence and water systems and describes how their design can be fit to the grazing management plan.
Detailed information, illustrations, and guidance for specific systems can be found in other extension and NRCS publications (woven-wire fence, barbed-wire fence, electric fence, fence selection, system components).