What do you do to get a hot wire across a deep gully, 50m wide and 20m deep covered in nasties?

You use a drone of course!

Fencer Mark Turton latched onto the idea when faced with this problem on Murray Peters' farm at Tataramoa. Murray was upgrading his electric fencing on his 202ha farm, putting in more powerful cables and wires than were possible when he first converted to dairy from sheep in 1986.

The gully which divided the farm proved a problem and no electric fencing had been established, until now.


Mark's dad Dick had bought a drone to help his fishing several months ago and at 86 he has learned to master it after tuition from his grandson. His fishing expeditions have been transformed, with his drone dropping his line up to a kilometre out to sea right into the middle of schooling kahawai at Te Awanga and Herbertville.

Dick uses GPS to send his drone to the spot he wants.

It hooks into up to 18 satellites for accuracy and returns to Dick at the flick of a switch. Hauling the fish in takes more effort.

Dick had already used a torpedo effectively to take lines out, but the drone is much better and a way of catching fish without even getting his feet wet.

So it was no trouble at all for Dick to order his drone across the gully carrying his fishing line, which was then attached to a coated aluminium wire and hauled back across to be connected to the nearby power source.

Share-milker Taylor Lowe thinks having power across the gully will help his management and Mark says it would have just about been impossible to get the wire across manually.