Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
EJ10 Enhanced management of maize crops to reduce soil erosion and run-off 94 points per ha

This option aims to reduce the risk of soil erosion and run-off on fields where maize is grown preceding a spring-sown crop. It aims to deliver more than EJ2 Management of maize crops to reduce soil erosion by requiring both early harvest and the establishment of a cover crop. The cover crop will provide winter protection from soil erosion and run-off on fields that would otherwise be left bare.

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 option is suitable where it precedes a spring-sown crop.

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 the maize crop by 1 October and remove any areas of soil compaction (ideally within two weeks of harvest). Do not sub-soil on features of archaeological interest.
  • Establish an autumn-sown cover crop. Drill or broadcast a quick-growing cover crop, such as rye, barley, or mustard, at an effective seed rate so as to provide good erosion protection.
  • 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 3). Any such slurry or manure must be applied at appropriate times to minimise the risk of run-off.
  • The cover crop must remain for a minimum of six weeks before establishment of the following springsown crop.
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