Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2010 (NE226)
J    Options to protect soil and water


Soil and water are vital resources. The way land is managed can have a huge impact on both our soils and water resources. Damage to soils through poor land management can cause problems on the farm, such as loss of productivity through removal of topsoil and blocked drains and ditches. There are also more far-reaching effects, such as impacts on water quality and aquatic life and on how flooding is managed, or prevented. 

Figure 10 - How ELS options can be used to protect soil and water.

The options available under this Section will allow you to take management action to minimise run-off and erosion. Options in other Sections, particularly for buffer strips, arable land, grassland and some upland options, can also help manage water flows across farmland and help reduce the incidence of run-off and erosion. Figure 10 provides an illustration of how these options can combine to minimise the risks of soil erosion and run-off.

EJ2    Management of maize crops to reduce soil erosion
18 points per ha

This option must not be located on fields at risk of soil erosion or run-off (as identified on your FER). It is only available on other land where you are growing maize.

This is a 'rotational option'. It can move around the farm with the normal rotation, but the same total hectarage must be maintained.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Harvest by 1 October and plough or cultivate to leave a rough surface, ideally within 2 weeks of harvest, to reduce subsequent soil erosion; or harvest by 1 October and establish an autumn-sown crop; or undersow the maize with a grass- or clover-based mixture and after harvest (ideally within 2 weeks), remove any areas of soil compaction.
  • Do not sub-soil areas on sites of archaeological interest.
  • You must not apply more than the recommended amount of slurry or manure for either the maize or the following crop to be grown on this land (see guidance in Appendix 4 for a recognised fertiliser recommendation system). Any such slurry or manure must be applied at appropriate times, to minimise the risk of run-off.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011