Spiny rush or Sharp Rush as it is more commonly known (Juncus acutus) is a problematic weedy invader of saline affected land. Its tolerance to salinity, abundant seed load and sharp pointed foliage combine to help it outcompete other species and avoid grazing from stock. The result is often large dense infestations along watercourses and in saline areas, a reduction in productive land and a high cost for removal.
Controlling this species early is the best option – treatment of young plants with herbicide when they are small is highly effective, while larger infestations may need to be burnt or removed using machinery.
Depending on your farming priorities, Spiny Rush infestations can be revegetated with natural saline tolerant native species mix including Eucalypts, Sheoaks and Ti-trees (Melaleuca’s), or combined with a sheep fodder system and planted out to Saltbush. Benefits from tackling Sharp Rush include improving farm productivity, establishing windbreaks, enhancing biodiversity values and supporting the wider control of this weed in your catchment.
The PHCC has funded a range of Spiny Rush control projects across the catchment through its Greening Farms Community Environmental Grants, and is keen to increase the overall management of this weed to benefit farm productivity and biodiversity conservation efforts.
There is an excellent guide on Spiny Rush control available from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions at the following link – https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/conservation-management/off-road-conservation/urban-nature/brochures/sharp_rush_juncus_acutus_managing_weeds_in_bushland.pdf
If you have a Spiny Rush problem on your property and want some advice on controlling it contact Mick Davis, Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator at the PHCC on 6369 8800
The Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program