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Cover Crop / Catch Crop

Choosing the correct species is key when it comes to cover crop or catch crops. You need to think about what you are trying to achieve weather its soil conditioning, Improving soil structure, Drying out wet fields / areas or putting back organic matter into the soil. Also think about what's in the rotation for example having Brassicas to close in a rotation could increase your risk of club root developing.

Your cover crop or catch crop can consist of a single species or be used as a mixture.

Harlow Agricultural Merchants can advise and tailored make a bespoke mixture to your individual needs.

Benefits of a Covers / Catch Crop

  • Weed suppressant
  • Longer work windows
  • Improved soil structure
  • Increased soil organic matter
  • Improved nutrient efficiency
  • Key part of an integrated rotation
  • Reduced fertiliser losses / leaching
  • Compliance with greening regulations
  • Can be used as part as your Integrated Pest Management

Cover Crops Species (Non EFA)

Triticale
Barley
Oats
Niger
Phacelia
Mustard
Vetch
Oil Radish
Clover
Buckwheat
Borage

EFA Compliant Species

Barley
Oats
Forage Rye
Phacelia
Mustard
Vetch
Fodder Radish
Ryegrass

EFA Winter Cover Crops (CCS SW6)

Requirements for Mid-Tier or Higher Tier Option

This option cannot be used from 1 January 2019, on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

Establish a quick-growing cover crop by 15th September that will provide a dense cover and protect the land from soil erosion and runoff
Destroy the cover crop in late January or early February, a maximum of 6 weeks before establishing the following spring crop. When weather conditions delay establishment of a spring crop, the cover crop can be left until mid-March.

Do not: Apply any fertilisers or manures

Key Points

  • Cover Crops Establish by 15th September, This is so it can take up soil nitrate before winter drainage or water leaches below the depth of the developing plant.
  • You can establish you Cover or Catch crop by drilling or broadcasting but a suitable sowing rate should be used to provide a dense cover and protect from soil erosion and maintain soil structure.
  • Cover Crop should be destroy in late January or February, before it is too well developed (if left too late nitrate leaching may increase the following winter)
  • You can use glyphosate to help with the destruction prior to cultivations

**Update from BPS for 2018 ** Complete ban of plant protection products on Ecological Focus Area (EFA) Fallow land, EFA Catch and Cover Crops and EFA Nitrogen-Fixing crops.


To find out latest and most up to date information regarding EFA Cover Crops please visit:

www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/winter-cover-crops-sw6

EFA Catch Crops

EFA catch crops must be maintained for a minimum of 8 weeks starting on 20 August and must be retained until at least 14 October. The period for EFA cover crops remains at 1 October to 15 January of the following year.

Do not: Apply any fertilisers or manures

Key Points

  • Catch Crops Establish by 20th August and must be retained until at least 14th October.
  • You can establish you Cover or Catch crop by drilling or broadcasting but a suitable sowing rate should be used to provide a dense cover and protect from soil erosion and maintain soil structure.

**Update from BPS for 2018 ** Complete ban of plant protection products on Ecological Focus Area (EFA) Fallow land, EFA Catch and Cover Crops and EFA Nitrogen-Fixing crops.

For the latest up-to-date information regarding EFA's Please Visit:

www.gov.uk/cap-reform

Darrell Clark

Orders & Enquiries

Ben Freeston

Orders & Enquiries

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