Farmers invited to events on sustainable control of rushes and other grassland weeds




Teagasc is inviting farmers in Athleague, Ballinasloe and surrounding areas in Co. Galway and Co. Roscommon to what promises to be two very interesting farm walks focusing on the sustainable control of rushes and other grassland weeds.

  The events take place on the farms of Joseph Naughton and Shane Naughton, Ashford, Ballinasloe (H53WD90) on Monday, July 1st and at Michael Connaughton’s, Deerpark, Athleague (F42X588) on Tuesday, 2nd of July, both starting at 7 pm.

  The events will focus on the use of weed lickers, boom sprayers, and flail mower on quad, sprayer inspections, buffer zones, best practice and water quality issues. All farmers and contractors are encouraged to attend.

  Attendees at this event will benefit from talks about raw water quality at drinking water sources; information about exceedances recorded in public drinking water, and the actions that Irish Water must take once a pesticide exceedance is detected as well as a talk about the responsible and correct application of pesticides. This will be supplemented by a demonstration and discussion led by Teagasc on best practice when using a sprayer. There will also be an opportunity to see the advantages of a weedlicker and flail mower driven by a quad.

  The event is being supported by Irish Water and the Animal Plant and Health Association and speakers include Thomas Gibbons, Irish Water; John Keogh, APHA; and advisers from Teagasc. 

  Exceedances in pesticides continue to be detected in the Suck Catchment. In 2018, the Ballinasloe Public Water Supply had one exceedance and there have been two already recorded in 2019.

  While the pesticide levels detected do not pose any immediate risk to health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.

  Irish Water working in partnership with the National Pesticide and Drinking Water Action Group (NPDWAG) is appealing to farmers and other users of pesticides to ensure that best practice measures to protect drinking water quality are always followed.

  Drinking water monitoring results across Ireland show that a number of pesticides commonly used on grassland, primarily MCPA and 2,4-D, are being detected more frequently.

  MCPA is commonly used to kill rushes on wet land and careless storage, handling and improper application means it ends up in our drinking water leading to breaches of the drinking water regulations.

  For further information, contact Teagasc on 094-9620160.