Are you planting catch crops under GLAS?

Farmers planting catch crops under the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) must remember to follow a few rules which are outlined below.

The first thing to note is that at least two different species must be planted in a mix. These species must also follow certain seed rates.

For example, if oats are going into a mix they must be included at a minimum rate of 75-100kg/ha. A list of the minimum seed rates required under GLAS are outlined below.

GLAS-approved crops and minimum seed rates:
  • Buckwheat: (30-40kg/ha);
  • Clover – crimson/berseem: (10-15kg/ha);
  • Forage rape: (3-5kg/ha);
  • Mustard: (6-10kg/ha);
  • Oats: (75-100kg/ha);
  • Black oats: (75-100kg/ha);
  • Phacelia: (2-5kg/ha);
  • Rye: (65-80kg/ha);
  • Tillage radish: (5kg/ha);
  • Vetch: (12kg/ha);
  • Leafy turnip: (5kg/ha);
  • Peas: (30kg/ha);
  • Beans: (90-100kg/ha).

There are plenty of pre-prepared mixes available from seed suppliers. Phacelia and vetch is a common one for those who don’t want to graze the crop.

Leafy turnip and forage rape is another example of a mix and this one can be grazed after December 1.

Also Read: Early sowing key to cover crop success

Sowing date

Catch crops planted for GLAS must be sown by September 15. However, farmers should sow as early as possible if the opportunity presents itself.

Planting early will provide more biomass and better root structures, adding more benefit to the soil and providing more forage for the winter.

If the intended crop is to be planted in a field after winter barley, plant as soon as possible and don’t leave sowing on the long finger.