Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2010 (NE226)
ELS10_3_2_EF15
NEW OPTION in 2010  
EF15    Reduced herbicide cereal crops followed by overwintered stubble
195 points per ha

This option provides a valuable food source for farmland birds, especially during the winter. The restricted herbicide programme will allow arable plants to flourish and set seed in the crop. Overwintering the stubble will provide winter food for farmland birds.

This option should not be located on sites at risk of soil erosion and run-off (as identified on your FER). Where possible, it should be located in areas where farmland birds, such as corn bunting, cirl bunting, grey partridge, reed bunting, tree sparrow, turtle dove, yellowhammer or yellow wagtail are known to be present.

This is a 'rotational option'. This means that it can move around the farm within the normal arable rotation, but the same total hectarage must be maintained each year.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Sow a cereal (but not maize) crop in the autumn or spring.
  • Do not apply insecticides between 15 March and the following harvest.
  • Only the following herbicides can be applied to control problem grass and broad-leaved weeds:
    • for broad-leaved weeds, only use amidosulfuron, and only between 1 February and 31 March; and
    • for grass weeds, use the following active ingredients only - tri-allate, fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, dicloflop-methyl + fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, tralkoxydim, clodinafop-propargyl or pinoxaden.
  • Not all herbicides are suitable for all cereal crops or for undersown crops. Always read the product label.
  • There are no restrictions on the use of fungicides or growth regulators.
  • Do not apply pre-harvest desiccants or post-harvest herbicides.
  • Bale (or chop and spread) straw after harvest.
  • Where the stubble is predominantly clean after harvest, a light surface cultivation can be made before the end of September (or within the first month following harvest if later) to encourage weed germination and loosen any surface compaction or capping. If the stubble is already weedy, do not cultivate.
  • In sloping fields, the tramlines, headlands and other areas of severe compaction should always be sub-soiled following harvest (except on archaeological features or when conditions are wet), to reduce the risk of run-off and erosion.
  • Do not apply any pesticides, fertilisers, manures (including manure heaps) or lime to the stubble.
  • Do not top or graze the stubble.
  • From 15 February, the stubble can be returned to the farm rotation.
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