Created with Sketch.

Soft Rush Control

Increasing grazing and forage availability in areas of high rainfall and acid soil types

Nufarm’s Grassmanship™ Programme has further expanded its focus to help farmers deal with soft (common) rush in their grazing areas.

Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) thrives in water logged and acidic soil. It spreads via creeping rhizomes. By controlling softrush coverage you can significantly impact your return on investment (ROI) with grass yields.

It is important to note since soft rush is found in water logged land, and as with all cases where weeds need to be controlled proper stewardship is essential. 

Why control Soft Rush?
  • 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) of rough grazing (common and sole right) in the UK
  • Approximately 10% of this is ‘in-bye’ pasture with a yield potential of
    7t to 10t DM/ha
  • So 1.28 million acres are at risk from soft rush
  • Every percent cover of soft rush reduces grass growth by the same proportion (10% cover = 10% loss)
Benefit – sustainable intensification
  • Recent work in Northern Ireland shows that a 75% control rate is possible with one application of glyphosate
  • Controlling a 40% infestation to 10% could increase grass yield from
    7t to 9.1t DM/ha (0.85t DM/acre)
  • This would enable beef and sheep farmers to:
    – Increase stocking rates
    – Utilise grazing more efficiently
    – Make more and better quality silage

 

When to control?
  • June is a good month to start a Rush control programme
  • Treat pre-flowering
    Boom sprayer or weed wiper
  • Allow to die back and cut after one month
BENEFIT – Capture the Return on Investment (ROI)

From reducing a 40% cover to 10%

 

Farming 
System
Grass 
production
increase*
Extra 
stocking
Extra sales
off farm
Extra
value
Rush
control
cost
ROI
Sheep 0.85t DM/acre 1.13 ewes + 2.25 lambs/acre **Lamb

78.75kg/acre

£157.51/acre £15/acre 10.5:1
Suckler 
beef
0.85t DM/acre 0.176cows/acre ***Calves

57.08kg/acre

 

£114.16/acre £15/acre 7.6:1
Extra 
silage
0.85t DM/acre   4 x 500kg round bales/acre £60/acre

(£15/bale)

£15/acre 4.0:1
Chemical control options

SELECTIVE HERBICIDE

  • Overall spray via boom sprayer
  • MCPA based
  • Safe to the grass

NON SELECTIVE

  • Weed wiper application
  • Only glyphosate approved
  • Apply to weeds only (not grass)
Weed wiper application of glyphosate
  • Contra-rotating brush applies glyphosate to Rush and not the grass
  • Relies on height differential of the weed above the grass
  • Ideal method for water catchment areas
  • Free hire from water authorities

    Logic Weed Wiper

Stewardship
  • Keep boom spray at least five metres back from water courses
  • Use low drift nozzles (three star air inclusion type)
  • Do not exceed maximum application rate
  • Do not spray if rain is expected within the day
  • Do not spray waterlogged fields where tyre marks are visible
  • Do not wash out the sprayer near drains or in the yard
  • Consider use of weed wipers in water catchments