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Beating Upland Rushes Starts at the Soil

14 July 2015

UK – Controlling farm rushes in the uplands can be achieved by analysing soils and non-chemical approaches, Scottish farmers heard last week.

A farmer meeting at one of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) research farms discussed how liming a field to raise pH and topping rushes could be the right approach. 

This was decided after a soil analysis, which is key to understanding soil type, condition, hydrology and pH, explained the SRUC. 

Professor Davy McCracken, head of the SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre, said: “Rushes are an issue on many upland farms and can impact on production by reducing the area available for grazing,” said Professor Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre.

“Chemical herbicides are a widely used control method, but for many farmers and crofters this option may not be possible, desirable or appropriate.

He emphasised that controlling rush encroachment was different to tackling an area already covered.

Demonstrations at the SRUC Kirkton and Auchtertyre farm are in collaboration with Soil Association Scotland to test and demonstrate alternative control methods.

 



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