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Thread: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

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  1. #1
    angus464
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    Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?

  2. #2
    John Maddock
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    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angus464 View Post
    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?
    No question you can kill bracken in a cost effective manner - you just need to know your enemy. Topping is just stripping the leaves off - all you are doing is spending time & money.

    You must get the herbicide into the mass of underground rhizomes - and that means the plant needs to be actively growing to transfer the chemical, and that means you need to choose timing of application carefully.

    The fronds should be fully unfurled, and the plant not stressed either by dry weather or cold conditions. Mid spring is probably the best time, but you may get good results at other times.

    If you want to preserve any pasture growing, wiping is the only way to attack.

    For the latest info, contact Paul Edlington (J.B.Edlington & Co. Ltd, Gainsborough (0)1427 612 030; www.edlington.com) and Graham Thompson (Micron Group, Bromyard;www.micron.co.uk/agricultural/weed_swiper, (0)1885 482397).

    Usual disclosure: I have an interest.

    JV

  3. #3
    hedgerat
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    I recall hearing that constant heavy rolling is a way to supress and control braken. Don't know if this is true or not though.

  4. #4
    Poorbuthappy
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Or chain harrows. I understood they like bruising less than being topped.

  5. #5
    rc mx110
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Poorbuthappy View Post
    Or chain harrows. I understood they like bruising less than being topped.
    I once heard of someone dragging a pallet behind the quad.. worked well apparantly

  6. #6
    hilly bill
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angus464 View Post
    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?
    Logic weed wiper or spray it with roundup, if i can get a tractor at it i spray it with roundup no worries the grass comes away again no problem dont worry about the grass at all, weed wiper is good or helicopter last resort.

  7. #7
    KMA
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    I've just taken delivery of a 'bracken basher' and am offering it as one of our services. Its a brutal piece of kit, very well engineered but 4 months between ordering and delivery

    Will be trying it out next week to see what the most effective speed is, I would reckon somewhere between 3-6mph depending on terrain. Also need to check what the most effective growth stage for this type of control is.

  8. #8
    KMA
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Managed to track down the advice, mechanical treatment (rolling/crushing/cutting) 2 treatments/year, 1st May/June 2nd July/August.

  9. #9
    davidroberts30
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    neighbour had a bad patch in 1 of his fields last year,and i was over there with the tele loader and scoop so i back bladed the patch of braken to knock it down and its not as bad this year

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Monmouthshire NP7 7NL
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    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by KMA View Post
    I've just taken delivery of a 'bracken basher' and am offering it as one of our services. Its a brutal piece of kit, very well engineered but 4 months between ordering and delivery

    Will be trying it out next week to see what the most effective speed is, I would reckon somewhere between 3-6mph depending on terrain. Also need to check what the most effective growth stage for this type of control is.

    Did it work and if so are you offering it as one of your services and, if so, whereabouts are you please?
    We have about 5 acres of steepish fern-covered meadow in Llanthony NP7 7NL.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Breconshire
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    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Nat park employed someone with a bracken bruiser, twice a year for four years to roll all they could on the common above our place and it made no difference at all. Far better if you could cut it June/July time or harrow it when it's at that young and brittle stage early on. That will weaken it considerably after a few years. There must be a few farmers around Llanthony who could help you out. How was the show?
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Betham gone away?
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

  13. #13
    y fan wen
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angus464 View Post
    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?
    What spray were you sold? Now that Asulox is off the menu, we will have to relearn our control measures
    Next door has had fantastic control with one app of glyphosate. He must have got the right day!!

  14. #14
    muck spreader
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by y fan wen View Post
    What spray were you sold? Now that Asulox is off the menu, we will have to relearn our control measures
    Next door has had fantastic control with one app of glyphosate. He must have got the right day!!
    Has it definitely gone? It's still available in our local merchants over here. It's the best thing for Bracken, but has to go on at the right time.

  15. #15
    hilly bill
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by y fan wen View Post
    What spray were you sold? Now that Asulox is off the menu, we will have to relearn our control measures
    Next door has had fantastic control with one app of glyphosate. He must have got the right day!!
    Asulox is and never was as good as Glyphos, just as well its off the market it was to dear Glyphos is and was the best way by far and cheaper

  16. #16
    Topground
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angus464 View Post
    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?
    Has the pattern of grazing changed to encourage bracken growth? In this part of the world there is a 40 Ha piece of Limestone grassland common which has not been regularly grazed for many years and has become over run with bracken and then brambles and then trees. A scheme of rolling in the spring has partially restored the grassland but the cheapest option would be to turn cattle out. Unfortunately because of the problem of straying those with commoners rights are reluctant to use them. On other sites locally cattle and ponies have been used with success. If you partially crush the growing bracken stem it poisons itself apparently!

  17. #17
    cowcalf
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    years ago rollers with heavy 90 degree angle welded on length ways to give more damage was the method pulled by a crawler if the terrain dictated. Had 1000 acres sprayed with helicopter using Asulox, a complete waste of money, as all the grass growing below bracken dissappeared and only returned at the same time as bracken
    Look on the bright side you are having better weather than most, with scenery to match

  18. #18
    JohnGalway
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cowcalf View Post
    Had 1000 acres sprayed with helicopter using Asulox, a complete waste of money, as all the grass growing below bracken dissappeared and only returned at the same time as bracken
    I suspect the method of spraying rather than the Asulox there. Perhaps the dilution rate wasn't right, the plant may have been at the wrong stage in it's growth, or another variable. Not having a go at you, just wondering about the method as I've used Asulox and found it works well - I used washing up liquid as a sticking agent.

    I've used Asulox here to great effect. Yes, it is expensive, but I have found it pretty much massacred the chest high (I'm 6'3) bracken on my farm, I used a knapsack sprayer at the time - I do realise that's not an option for 10k acres :lolk: I did need to do some again the next year and the third year I didn't see any bracken in the area I sprayed. I did see some single stalks this year, which I will spray, but honestly SFA.

    I've bracken to knock on Dads farm, hope to do it this year and Asulox is what I'll use there too except I hope to use a boomless sprayer and a quad.

  19. #19
    hilly bill
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalway View Post
    I suspect the method of spraying rather than the Asulox there. Perhaps the dilution rate wasn't right, the plant may have been at the wrong stage in it's growth, or another variable. Not having a go at you, just wondering about the method as I've used Asulox and found it works well - I used washing up liquid as a sticking agent.

    I've used Asulox here to great effect. Yes, it is expensive, but I have found it pretty much massacred the chest high (I'm 6'3) bracken on my farm, I used a knapsack sprayer at the time - I do realise that's not an option for 10k acres :lolk: I did need to do some again the next year and the third year I didn't see any bracken in the area I sprayed. I did see some single stalks this year, which I will spray, but honestly SFA.

    I've bracken to knock on Dads farm, hope to do it this year and Asulox is what I'll use there too except I hope to use a boomless sprayer and a quad.
    Yer mad just use Glyphos much cheaper and better, Rolling and harroing dose work but not brill, cows thin it big time though cows are much better than rolling etc.

  20. #20
    muck spreader
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hilly bill View Post
    Yer mad just use Glyphos much cheaper and better, Rolling and harroing dose work but not brill, cows thin it big time though cows are much better than rolling etc.
    Glyphos is too hard on the grass compared to Asulox which does then encourage the cows in to trample the stuff down.

  21. #21
    JohnGalway
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hilly bill View Post
    Yer mad just use Glyphos much cheaper and better, Rolling and harroing dose work but not brill, cows thin it big time though cows are much better than rolling etc.
    Got no cows anymore, can't roll or harrow where I'll be working, taking a big enough risk with a quad mounted sprayer on that land.

    Would I not have to reseed after using Glyphos?

    After using the Asulox where I sprayed I just left the place to it's own devices and grass grew back.

  22. #22
    40cows
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hilly bill View Post
    Yer mad just use Glyphos much cheaper and better, Rolling and harroing dose work but not brill, cows thin it big time though cows are much better than rolling etc.


    Glyphosate at the higher rate kills it for good,And in a single dose
    Grass grows back by next summer
    Anyway if the bracken canopy is thick enough, you wont kill any grass.
    Weed wiper is best for thinner bits.

    Asulox was only partially effective in year 1 depending on the weather,You then had to probably spray again in year 2 for a total kill.
    Even so it would all come back in 10 years unless you kept on top of it.

    I wish I had used glypho the first time,I would not have any bracken now

  23. #23
    cowcalf
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalway View Post
    I suspect the method of spraying rather than the Asulox there. Perhaps the dilution rate wasn't right, the plant may have been at the wrong stage in it's growth, or another variable. Not having a go at you, just wondering about the method as I've used Asulox and found it works well - I used washing up liquid as a sticking agent.

    I've used Asulox here to great effect. Yes, it is expensive, but I have found it pretty much massacred the chest high (I'm 6'3) bracken on my farm, I used a knapsack sprayer at the time - I do realise that's not an option for 10k acres :lolk: I did need to do some again the next year and the third year I didn't see any bracken in the area I sprayed. I did see some single stalks this year, which I will spray, but honestly SFA.

    I've bracken to knock on Dads farm, hope to do it this year and Asulox is what I'll use there too except I hope to use a boomless sprayer and a quad.
    It was due to drought conditions at time of spraying, not advised but Laird decided he knew better

  24. #24
    JohnGalway
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cowcalf View Post
    It was due to drought conditions at time of spraying, not advised but Laird decided he knew better
    Thanks Cowcalf, that makes sense now.

  25. #25
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Help!! Bracken is taking over!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angus464 View Post
    Over the last few years here now bracken has become a big issue, growing everywhere and spreading like wild fire!! Its mostly on ground not suitable for easy access with the tractor and topper, but even in the fields where its flat and where I do manage to cut it it still grows back!! With the dry weather here now for the last 6 weeks or so its the only damn thing that is growing!!! Got spray last year, cost me 150 from our local crofting suppliers and it did abselutly nothing to it!!!
    Any one dealing with the same problem or know how to go about tackling it!?

    I second all those who have said to use Glyphosate.
    We lost land couple years back and decided instead of reducing stock numbers we intensivley stocked our hill, so since then i have been 'playing' with glyphos and a Roto-wiper weedwiper on the bracken. Iv found 1 part glyphos to 3 parts water works well, add some washing up liquid so you can see how much your applying to the wiper and cover the bracken with 2 passes - doesnt seem to matter if in same direction or not. Do this in the last 10days of July/first 10 days of Augaust for it to be most effective.

    Once you get the bracken thinned down, graze as hard as you can! Plenty of bodies moving through it and grazing amongst it soon batters it down.

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