HOW TO BLITZ YOUR BRACKEN WITH HAMILTON BROTHERSJuly 16, 2012
Last week our bracken crushing expert, Ted McDonald took the high road to the Isle of Ghiga and Dalmally to give a demonstration of the very latest bracken blitzing machinery to a record turnout of crofters and farmers. The event, now in its third year, was organised by the Scottish Agricultural College in association with Hamilton Brothers.
Bracken is literally a growing problem for land managers in Scotland. Whilst it supports up to 40 species of invertebrates and provides nesting, feeding and roosting habitat for a variety of birds, it poses serious problems for farmers as it reduces the land available for grazing, carries disease for sheep and cattle and it is carcinogenic for humans. Not only that, failure to keep bracken under control can have serious financial repercussions for farmers.
Niall Campbell, Senior Consultant for SAC in Oban says “There are EU rules on keeping land in good Agricultural and Environmental Condition ( GEAC) and if bracken has grown over land farmers previously claimed as productive for their Single Farm payment, they risk penalties.”
“With so much at stake, the level of interest for our demonstration days was not surprising” said Ted. He conducted the chemical and mechanical demonstration with his fleet of a Kubota RTV 900 towing a Logic Contact 2000 Weed Wiper, a Logic Flail Mower and a bespoke Bracken Crusher. There was also a helicopter pilot on hand to talk the farmers through the aerial bracken spraying process.
Ted chose the Logic 2000 Weed Wiper as the optimum machine for chemical control as he believes it is the best currently on the market, typically giving a 95% kill with the first application. The electronic flow metre controls the rate of application and there is no dripping of chemicals from the rollers, so no costly wastage. Also, the heavy duty contra-rotating chemical brush is made from coconut and nylon so it effortlessly tackles dense bracken with little bristle loss.
For mechanical bracken control, Ted demonstrated a 16hp petrol driven towed Logic Flail Mower and a Bracken Crushing machine unique to Hamilton Brothers. Manufactured by a local Renfrewshire farmer, this powerful steel constructed machine also attaches to any vehicle capable of towing from a Kubota RTV900 to a quad bike!
So what method of bracken control did Ted recommend on the day? “It really comes down to personal choice and budget,” he says. “You will get immediate results with the mechanical Flail Mower or Bracken Crusher but the Weed Wiper is more effective long term as the chemicals ultimately kill the root of the plants. All these land operated machines are capable of destroying bracken close to loch sides etc., but for large areas of steep, rugged terrain, I would have to fly the flag for helicopter spraying as the sky’s the limit in terms of reach!”
For more information about any of these Bracken Crushing Machines, give Ted McDonald a call on 07771 577881 or contact your nearest Hamilton Brothers Depot today!
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