Best way to establish a herbal ley?

Poncherello1976

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Oxfordshire
I am looking at putting together a Countryside Stewardship application for 2022. It includes a lot of low input PP, but I want to put 60/70 acres in to a herbal ley, GS4. These will be in to fields that have been PP for 30+ years, and obviously we will do an EIA to convert it. What will be the best way to establish the ley? I was thinking of the easiest, spray off and DD it, but establishment maybe hit or miss. Will get some soil tests done in the spring summer to see what we have underneath. Spray, plough and drill may give better results but more intensive!
 

jack6480

Member
Location
Staffs
I am looking at putting together a Countryside Stewardship application for 2022. It includes a lot of low input PP, but I want to put 60/70 acres in to a herbal ley, GS4. These will be in to fields that have been PP for 30+ years, and obviously we will do an EIA to convert it. What will be the best way to establish the ley? I was thinking of the easiest, spray off and DD it, but establishment maybe hit or miss. Will get some soil tests done in the spring summer to see what we have underneath. Spray, plough and drill may give better results but more intensive!

I wouldnt dd into old pp, some of the herbs are very slow to get going especially sown in august onwards.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I am looking at putting together a Countryside Stewardship application for 2022. It includes a lot of low input PP, but I want to put 60/70 acres in to a herbal ley, GS4. These will be in to fields that have been PP for 30+ years, and obviously we will do an EIA to convert it. What will be the best way to establish the ley? I was thinking of the easiest, spray off and DD it, but establishment maybe hit or miss. Will get some soil tests done in the spring summer to see what we have underneath. Spray, plough and drill may give better results but more intensive!

Technically I think the fields as described do not meet the GS4 specification. The option is for land in arable, temporary grass, and permanent pasture that has been cultivated and resown in the previous 5 years. You may want to just think about this and any actions you may need to take before submitting the application.
 

tr250

Member
Location
Northants
Technically I think the fields as described do not meet the GS4 specification. The option is for land in arable, temporary grass, and permanent pasture that has been cultivated and resown in the previous 5 years. You may want to just think about this and any actions you may need to take before submitting the application.
Yes personally I’d get a combinable crop in ASAP then do your application. It does clearly state that this option is not intended for permanent pasture. But if it’s in an arable crop when the application goes in I can’t see a problem
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Yes personally I’d get a combinable crop in ASAP then do your application. It does clearly state that this option is not intended for permanent pasture. But if it’s in an arable crop when the application goes in I can’t see a problem

Not quite TR250. The S4 specification precludes use on 'valuable semi-natural permanent pasture', so not permanent pasture per se, but permanent pasture that has been resown in the previous five years. These are quite specific conditions designed to prevent the option being used on 'old' permanent pasture but not preventing it being used on 'improved' permanent pasture.

All very pedantic, but impertant to understand the nuances. The OP did mention an EIA. But was not specific about the reseeding within te previous five years - I am presuming this is possibly first reseed in 30 years. No doubt we may get told yet.

Thanks, no mention of this from my advisor. I will do some checking up.

Its here - take a read.

 

jd24

Member
Fine soil , Broadcast early autumn with rain assured. Broadcast more herbs and clover in the spring but yes GS4 should be temporary grass.
 

Poncherello1976

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Oxfordshire
Not quite TR250. The S4 specification precludes use on 'valuable semi-natural permanent pasture', so not permanent pasture per se, but permanent pasture that has been resown in the previous five years. These are quite specific conditions designed to prevent the option being used on 'old' permanent pasture but not preventing it being used on 'improved' permanent pasture.

All very pedantic, but impertant to understand the nuances. The OP did mention an EIA. But was not specific about the reseeding within te previous five years - I am presuming this is possibly first reseed in 30 years. No doubt we may get told yet.



Its here - take a read.

Thank you. It has not been re seeded and so this may cause a problem, and so I will look in to it. I have been led to believe that granting an EIA for these fields will not be too much of an issue by my advisor and so I would like to believe what they say as they are in the business. I did look at other fields but they have Historical features and so will be difficult to grant an EIA. My thoughts were that if an EIA is granted that would change the PP to Temporary grass and then be ok to plant the Herbal ley.
As said I am taking professional advice on what we can do/can not do. I was just looking for the best way to get it established if I am able to do it. It maybe best to try and get an EIA sharpish and plant a spring crop on it.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Thank you. It has not been re seeded and so this may cause a problem, and so I will look in to it. I have been led to believe that granting an EIA for these fields will not be too much of an issue by my advisor and so I would like to believe what they say as they are in the business. I did look at other fields but they have Historical features and so will be difficult to grant an EIA. My thoughts were that if an EIA is granted that would change the PP to Temporary grass and then be ok to plant the Herbal ley.
As said I am taking professional advice on what we can do/can not do. I was just looking for the best way to get it established if I am able to do it. It maybe best to try and get an EIA sharpish and plant a spring crop on it.

I assume, so could be wrong, your adviser is 'bending the rules' slightly! I have a mental picture of this permanent pasture and assume an EIA will be straightforward. But if the land has not been reseeded in past five years it would appear to be technically ineligible. Now I expect no one is going to know other than you it has not been reseeded. Did the adviser ask that question? So I will leave that point hanging. But as ever with board games it sometimes pays to read all the rules and inwardly digest in case on some day in a few years you say the wrong thing to an inspector.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
I've found meadow grass to be extremely tenacious after permanent pasture, you don't see it in the arable crops but for years if fallowed or spring cropped it will come back like a lawn. This will probably be the biggest source of weed competition for your herbal ley along with broad leaved weeds that appear like magic from seemingly clean PP as soon as it is disturbed like thistles, nettles, docks and cleavers. As has been said it wants at least one arable crop to calm it down a bit or the herbal ley won't last long before it's drowned out or at least that's what I've found
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
Ploughing out permanent pasture is probably the most environmentally damaging action of all (releases huge quantities of stored nitrate and carbon). Any option involving direct drilling or overseeding would be better for the environment.

It is hard to get many of the herbs established though due to the competition.

Could you graze it right to the floor with sheep before dd'ing?
 

Poncherello1976

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Oxfordshire
Ploughing out permanent pasture is probably the most environmentally damaging action of all (releases huge quantities of stored nitrate and carbon). Any option involving direct drilling or overseeding would be better for the environment.

It is hard to get many of the herbs established though due to the competition.

Could you graze it right to the floor with sheep before dd'ing?
This is why I would like to DD it if possible, but if it will not establish very well then it does not help much. It can be grazed with sheep, though may do something after a cut of hay/haylage.
I am looking at 2022, and so I could do something nowish,(pending EIA), to get something else in the ground and then plant the herbal ley in 2022.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
It's not what you asked, but my advice would be to leave it as pp, but change how you graze it. Much more enjoyable watching it change and far cheaper. You'll really struggle to get any benefit from herbal ley after pp. You can cut a bit of chicory in, but you won't get paid to do it.

There's always a danger (been there, done that) of being led by the promise of CS/HLS/whatever money rather than use good farming sense.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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