Products — Greening & EFA's

Conservation mixtures are now commonplace in the countryside. This is part of APHA’s commitment to restoring farmland bird numbers as stated in the Biodiversity Action Plan. The acceptable mixtures must contain plenty of seed producing plants such as quinoa, millet, sunflower, cereals etc. These mixtures provide a bird table of food throughout the winter months that will help the vulnerable farmland birds and so reverse the national decline. These mixtures can also be used to fulfill some of the EFA’s under the new rules. For more information contact us at the office or for a detailed insight into the new schemes visit the campaign for the Farmed Environment. www.cfeonline.org.uk

Wild Bird Mixtures

This is a mixture that will provide shelter and food for a whole host of birds: skylarks, chaffinches, goldfinches, yellow hammers, sparrows, reed buntings etc.

  • 30% White Millet
  • 20% Canary Seed
  • 15% Linseed
  • 15% Sunflower
  • 10% Triticale
  •   5% Kale
  •   5% Quinoa
  • 10.0kg per acre

WM1 Wild Bird Seed Mixture

  • 80% Cereal Mixture
  • 10% Kale
  • 10% Quinoa
  • 20.0kg per acre

Church RSPB Conservation

In conjunction with the RSPB we have devised a farmland bird conservation mixture. This mixture is selected to feed the wild birds and encourage an increase in their numbers.

  • 20% Kale
  • 30% Quinoa
  • 50% White Millet
  • 8.0kg per acre

Wild Bird Supplementary Feeding

Wild bird seed crops produce a large amount of food for farmland birds throughout the winter. As the weather deteriorates however, their ability to provide a reliable supply of seed becomes less. This is when it is important to ‘top up’ that shortfall with a supply of key seeds to give the birds a reliable food source through until the Spring.

Supplementary feeding provides additional feed from December through to the Spring alongside existing wild bird seed cover. This ensures that when the cover crop is depleted of seed, the birds can then switch to the supplementary feed.

We can supply an excellent range of either ‘premixed’ seeds to meet growers prescribed requirements, or we can supply them as ‘straights’ for those who wish to mix their own.

Bag size is typically 25kgs or we can pack into Big Bags.

Green Manure Mixtures

These are becoming more popular all the time as they have 2 very important roles. They add organic matter to the soil and make nitrogen available to the following crop. Typical ingredients used are Red Clover, White Clover, Phacelia, Mustard, Vetch and Rye. This can also be made up of Rye, Vetches, Italian Ryegrass and Minerva Maple Peas.

Greening & EFA's

The impact of voting to leave the EU on farm payment schemes going forward is yet to be fully understood.  In the short term however, any existing schemes will still need to be managed.

Following CAP reforms the Single Payment Scheme for farmers was replaced from
1st January 2015 for a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) This scheme contains mandatory greening requirements, which will account for around 30% of the total payment.

One key aspect of this scheme is the so called ‘3 crop rule’ whereby farmers with more than 30ha of arable land that are not exempt are required to grow at least three different crops with the largest crop not covering more than 75% of that arable land. This has triggered a higher demand for growing pulses, which can also offer an alternative break crop to oilseed rape. Please contact us for more information about the options with pulses and see the relevant sections within this brochure.

Another key aspect of the scheme is the introduction of Ecological Focus Areas (EFA), which dictates that any farm with over 15ha of arable land that are not exempt must ensure that an area equivalent to 5% of the arable area be EFA. There are five options that can be used in combination to fulfill the EFA area requirement but these options are not all weighted equally whereby some will require a larger or smaller area to count as a hectares worth of EFA. Options are: Hedgerows, Buffer Strips, Fallow, Nitrogen Fixing Crops and Catch/ Cover Crops.

Full detailed information on all aspects of the new schemes can be found at
www.gov.uk/cap-reform.

Some of our standard seed mixtures are EFA compliant as outlined but we are also able to produce completely bespoke mixtures to your particular specification. At Church of Bures we are placed extremely well to cater for these demands as we produce most of the crops ourselves.

Please contact us to discuss all your requirements.

Buffer Strips

Weighting: 1m in length= 9m2 EFA
(i.e. you would need to have 1.1km of buffer strips to count as 1ha EFA)

Buffer strips must be next to a watercourse and be a minimum of 1m width. Grazing and cutting is allowed, if the strip is temporary grass, but there must be no crop production. You can use the same buffer strip required for cross compliance as an EFA also.

• Use Church’s General Purpose Wildlife Mixtures or create your own mix to include wild flowers or legumes.

In field buffer strips parallel to watercourses are also permitted and can be sown with wild bird mixes or nectar sources- use Church Wild Bird or Pollen and Nectar with Grass.

Fallow

Weighting: 1m2= 1m2 EFA
(i.e. 1ha fallow land will count as 1ha EFA)

To qualify the fallow period is on arable land from 1st January to 30th June in the same year. The minimum area is 0.01ha and must have a minimum width of 2m. Temporary grass, wild bird mixes and pollen and nectar sources can be sown but these cannot be harvested or grazed.

• Use Church Wild Bird, WM1, Nectar Rich or Grass Margin mixtures.

Nitrogen Fixing Crops

Weighting: 1m2= 0.7m2 EFA
(i.e. you would need to sow 1.4ha of nitrogen fixing crops to count as 1ha EFA)

Nitrogen Fixing Crops must be in the ground between 1st May and 30th June, and have be a minimum of 0.01ha in area.

A full list of eligible nitrogen fixing crops is available at www.gov.uk/cap-reform and there are three classes available: arable leguminous crops, pasture legumes (without grass) and mixed legumes (where all of the crops are considered to be individually leguminous).

• Use Peas, Beans, Vetch, Lucerne, Sanfoin, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Clovers.

Catch Crops & Cover Crops

Weighting: 1m2= 0.3m2 EFA
(i.e. you would need to sow 3.3ha of catch/ cover crops to count as 1ha EFA)

Both Catch Crops and Cover Crops must have a minimum area of 0.01ha and consist of a mix of at least two different eligible cover crops and be a minimum of one cereal and one non cereal crop. Any percentage mix can be used as long as there is sufficient ground cover and at least two
different crops are visible.

A catch crop must be established by 31st August and retained until at least 1st October in the same year.

A cover crop must be established by 1st October and retained until at least 15th January the following year.

Eligible catch/cover crops are:

Cereal

  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats

Non Cereal

  • Vetch
  • Phacelia
  • Mustard
  • Lucerne
  • Oilseed
  • Radish

Grass is also permissible as long as it was undersown in the previous crop and is visible and dense enough to cover the ground by the start of the catch crop or cover crop period. Some suggested mixtures are detailed however we appreciate that every situation is different so at Church of Bures we can produce your very own bespoke mixture to include any percentages of the eligible crops.

Church Rapid Fix

75% Rye
25% Vetch
Sow at 50-65kg/ha

• Rapid establishment and excellent winter ground cover offers good weed suppression.
• Also nitrogen fixing.

Church Maxi Cover

80% Oats
15% Vetch
5% Phacelia
Sow at 40-50kg/ha

• High Dry Matter cover crop with good weed suppression and nitrogen fixing.

Church Easy Cover

75% Rye
25% Mustard
Sow at 25-40kg/ha

• Economic cover crop which rapidly establishes suppressing weeds and is easy to incorporate back into the soil.

Church Deep Fix

75% Oats
15% Vetch
10% Oilseed Radish
Sow at 35-50kg/ha

• Nitrogen fixing cover crop with the ability to root through compacted soils improving structure.