I do this for AB14 in my current Higher Tier. Just 6m margins around the fields. I don't harvest them as they are usually full of weeds which I don't want elsewhere though there are some approved herbicides like amidosulfuron (Eagle) and Axial Pro. Wide row spacing and low plant densities are easy enough. Just block off every other row on the drill and drop the seed rate. I keep mine separate from the main field crop but that's the choice of my boss - a traditional "conservation headland" would be harvested, have an additional tramline for when you're doing a tank mix with herbicides in it and require you to go back and put a permitted herbicide on the headland less fertiliser etc.
This is my current AB14 prescription from NE. Note I didn't take the Unharvested Cereal Headland AB10 option - this means you have to leave it for ages & results in a rat infested mess that takes ages to clean up.
This was just lifted from Google Images. You can see the narrow strip of lower plant counts and more weeds. This will be heaving with birds & insects. Longer thinner strips give more benefit than single larger plots but it's down to you how you fit them in. I have around 22 ha of these as 6m strips alongside beetle banks and around the outside of the fields.
If you're doing this in the autumn, be aware that there's nothing you can really do about blackgrass & ask yourself whether you're happy to have weeds you'd otherwise not tolerate setting seed.
The GWCT website has some good info if you dig around. These options really benefit grey partridge, so include this in search criteria when looking for info.
The latest machination coming from the so-called ‘opinion formers’, who seem to have the ear of government advisors in London, is the introduction of a ‘Meat Tax’ at consumer level.
This approach, it is argued, would have the combined impact of reducing meat consumption levels (I can really see the health benefits coming through now), while also helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of production agriculture.
What absolute drivel! In my opinion, none of this makes sense at any level. This is a scurrilous and unfounded attack on livestock farming in this part of the world.
Yet, it has to be taken seriously. I make this point because economists at Rothamsted Research have already crunched the numbers where the introduction of a ‘UK...