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Rural Information Night-Having problems with rushes?

CAFRE are looking at the different rush control methods which are best suited to Northern Ireland. Please come along to hear more detail about this recently established project.

Rush cover has become a major problem in the past few years. Rush is a herbaceous, low-nutrient plant which is often associated with poorly drained soils and is commonly found in areas of high rainfall with heavy acidic soils.

Heavy infestations of rush can be very damaging to priority habitats and they also reduce both the quality of grazing and the stock carrying capacity of the land. Where rushes are present it is very important to consider if the eligibility of land for area based schemes is affected.

However, it is important to note that small areas of rush in fields are beneficial for ground nesting birds such as curlew and snipe as cover is required for nests and to provide protection for the chicks.

Rush also provides cover for the Irish hare so it is about getting the correct balance as severe infestations can have very negative implications for wildlife. Fields with over one third rush cover require management to achieve a better balance between open space and cover.

CAFRE Rush Technology Project

CAFRE established four rush technology project sites in 2014 to demonstrate different rush control methods. This project is expected to run for four years and monitoring will take place throughout each growing season. Cutting, weed wiping with glyphosate, spraying with MCPA and liming have taken place at each demonstration site and there is also an untreated plot for comparison.

To learn about the findings to date, CAFRE will be speaking on Tuesday 19th April.





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