Irish Moileds and rush control
RESULTS from an initial experiment on land at Oxford Island on the shores of Lough Neagh suggest that the ancient breed of Irish moiled cattle could be used to help control the spread of the soft rush (Juncus effusus) in wet pastures.
Áine O’Reilley, a trainee with the GAP Heritage Grazing project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has combined her degree in land use and environmental management with knowledge gained on her family’s beef farm to develop work that examines how traditional cattle breeds graze in species-
Rushes are generally controlled by cutting, spraying with herbicide, or weed-
While initial cutting reduced the rushes to 14cm, Áine observed that after only three weeks they were back to an average height of 46cm. Putting moiled cattle into the plot reduced the average rush height back to 18cm.
Áine said: “The moilies were happily munching away on the rush re-
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