The Blackwater CIS project with South Tyrone Farmers Group (STFG) is taking place on the headwaters of both the Fury and Mountain water rivers. The project was funded to develop farmer engagement to address the build-up of MCPA (chemical used to treat rushes).
Run-off of this chemical into nearby water courses has a serious knock on effect to water quality, local wildlife and is expensive and time consuming to remove from drinking water plants.
The project is encouraging farmers in the area to move away from traditional boom spraying of rush, which is less accurate and leads to excessive runoff and wind drift, to a more targeted method of weed wiping which is applied directly to the rush using a quad drawn weed wiper.
In Phase 1 of the project, 128 hectares of rush has been treated on 25 farms and results have been very promising. A lot of interest has been generated in this work and it is envisaged the scheme will be extended to cover a larger area and more farms in Phase 2.