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Topper and rushes?

  • 02-09-2021 10:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    Had cut field of rushes last year with drum mower, but and the end hit a lump of tree in ground and made poop of mower. Thinking of trying a trooper? Can it handle the rushes? There are stones in the field and I know where the tree roots are now. What hp would a 6 foot need?




  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten

    Standard "cheap" topper cannot handle strong rushes but if you top often then it can keep the soft rush at bay.

    The rolls royce of toppers is the Major Cyclone Major Cyclone Rotary Shredder (

    A disc mower with topping skids will work too but they are expensive and not completely bullet proof either

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,906 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian

    we have a flemming semi offset 6ft, Last might I was tidying up a corner and it was cutting rushes 3ft tall. 70hp will do it.

    key is keep rpm up and ground speed low, give her time to munch away

    if there’s stones and roots I’d say get contractor in with a heavy duty mulcher to clean up the field and then a topper will be fine. Chat to them and make sure it’s a heavy duty mulcher capable of dealing with stones etc. Neighbors did this, they ground up stones, gorse, blackthorn suckers and now it’s can be topped easily. Think it was €50/acre

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    I've gotten local lad to mulch another field before. He advised go spray and then he woukd mulch when deal. Did a good job, this field can can fairly wet so was hoping to try it myself and then keep on top of it.

    Have rolled a few acres last night a will spray today. Find I gets into them after a roll.

    I'd like to top after they graze it this time. Toppers local coming in at 1500€. And expecting to go up.

    Might chance a trailer one 2nd hand.

    How much hp would an 8foot trailed need?

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭ dp639

    Yes I agree, its like anything, give the machine a chance and take it slowly, it'll get through rushes no matter how bad they are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    We've a basic 6ft Nugent topper about 30 years and it can handle heavy rushes without issue. 135 will drive it for most topping but a larger tractor is better if rushes are real heavy.

    Id agree the major cyclone would be a nice to have, but can't imagine too many cheap toppers couldn't cut a few rushes if used at an appropriate speed.

    We are going to re-sheet the top of the Nugent topper as it's almost see-through at this stage.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    According to Abbey broucher a 65HP tractor is min for Abbey 8ft trailed. There'd be a bit more comfort with a slightly bigger tractor though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,104 ✭✭✭ hopeso

    By all means spray today. The weather is perfect at the moment for spraying. Then leave them alone for the winter. Go out with the topper as early as you can next spring. They'll be well rotted by then and will be very easy to cut. Any regrowth will be soft and green, and will be ideal for spraying in May or June.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 693 ✭✭✭ mr.stonewall

    I would imagine that a lift type topper would be better than a trailed type on wetter ground. Gives the option on lifting it clear. With the trailed the wheels might sink and lead to bogging. I personally find the disc mower good as the bed floats. With a topper you are relying on the two skids to support the weight and they sink the rotors sink aswell.

    Big thing is slow forward speed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,821 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2

    Have an 8ft Abbey trailed topper here on a case 885xl. Have done very heavy rushes at slow speed no problem

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭

    I ran a 6ft Malone on a uncle's place a few years back, great job.

    1st he Sprayed the rushes with mcpa waited 6 weeks (they died). When I went to cut them they were like match sticks. It was roughish ground so I could lift the topper easily if I encountered an osptical. Like posters here said low forward speed and plenty of revs. I took my time too.

    Uncle drained and reseeded field, not a sign of a rush 15 years later.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 961 ✭✭✭ ruwithme

    Great thing too about the topper for rushes is you can raise the skids for very strong ones & come a 2nd time lower if needed be.

    Topper will scatter them round a touch more too, than a disc mower which just drops them on the spot.

    I believe cut rushes are a good fertiliser for the ground,so maybe not all bad if we can keep them under a bit of control.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,821 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2

    If the rushes are very heavy I go back over them a second time

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    Cool, thanks for all advice.

    Have sprayed one field and will see how weather is for the next place they finish, if I can pick up a 6ft topper I'll try a section with that and compare.

    Will invest as will be able to go at them when ever I get chance. Stay on top of them long term. Probably way to go for weed control too. Will get few pics for compare

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭ maestroamado

    Can i add a question to this please.

    A friend wants to buy a topper for a 35 tractor... what is the max size this tractor be comfortable with? He knows someone who has a 5ft but he was told the tractor a bit small for this...

    Any advice appreciated...

    OP sorry i know nothing on this topic....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,647 ✭✭✭ White Clover

    If you could get some lime out there in the coming week, it'd do more than any spray. Also target any dung on those fields.

  • Registered Users Posts: 697 ✭✭✭ minerleague

    Depends of the lift in the tractor rather than the power to drive it, can friend borrow topper for a day? Should be able for 5 ft ( not offset one though ) if driven as slow as conditions allow ( hardly get any smaller anyway?? )

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    Ya. I've booked it for the end of week for silage field and will see if he'll put a dust there. I did put gran lime out there a few years ago and found it knocked the skin off it and made it must softer. The weather is nest it could be for it now. Will try and get as much ground covered

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  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    I originally hoping to put the 3000 on the topper. Maybe once it's cleared. Should be better able to travel with that for longer in the year. So usefull question

  • Registered Users Posts: 904 ✭✭✭ green daries

    With a set of dual wheels you'd damn near float would be a smashing job

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    5ft should be no bother to the 35. I use the 6ft with a 135, biggest issue is my 6ft one is heavy on the back especially on a bouncy road, some weights on front could sort that though.

    Also my father in laws 10 year old 6ft Nugent topper is considerably lighter than my 30 year old Nugent topper and is shorter so weight is closer to tractor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,906 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian

    This field doesn’t look much like it’s for a topper. Quite uneven, be constantly breaking shear bolts.

    the second one looks like rushes are thin enough and control should work well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    I'd top that without breaking one. I rarely have rushes break shear bolts. Going too hard, reving up too quick and hitting something solid are the only things I find break bolts. I've no shortage of rough ground with rushes but would use less than 1 bolt a year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    I'll have to spray this one as I don't know what stones and where there are. Did cut this back in 2019 I think with drum mower. So could try with topper with 2 passes. But will spray and that field is dry enough so should travel over winter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

    I'll be learning with it so will go direct to the fields that I know they lay of the land and spray the ones I'm not certain and topper next year or later in year if rushes die back

  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ tellmeabit

  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ jaginsligo

    On the subject of rushes, what's the lastest the can be licked & what's the earliest (time of the year)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten

    Depends on what chemical you are using, for licking you can use the Roundup Bioactive all year round. In Summer you can use the cheap roundup clones along with a sticker (I use fairy washing up liquid).

    Spraying is a different matter, the best rush kill I got was when I sprayed late September in a dry spell with MCPA, by spring time all that was left was black dead rush. The best routine is to cut first early in the year then hit them with the spray a few months later.

    At the end of the day it's a War which is ongoing continuously. land Poaching is the biggest enemy and will see the return of the rush. If you get a field clear of them you still have to mind the field or it'll be back to square one in no time