In line with the habitat management of the National Park, the reed is cut at several spots of the Neusiedler See and some saline lakes. The harvested reed is used for roofing and rush mats. One and two year old reed is best to sell, as the halms are big and strong. The majority of the reed harvest is sold to the Netherlands and North-Germany.
Every year new areas for the winter reed cutting (until March 15th) are designated on the inland side of the reed belt, in wet meadows and some areas around the saline lakes. Local companies can purchase the right to cut reed in a designated area.
At some saline lakes and reed-overgrown wet meadow areas it is the mid-term goal to remove the reed completely, which reestablishes the open land. Thus, pasturing and mowing are important measures.
Cutting the reed preserves the large variety of structures within the reed of the lake. Areas, that are cut every year harbour other animals and plants than older reed beds; both are important habitats. Controlled burning helps to establish younger reed beds, but this has to be approved by the local authorities and can only take place until the end of February.