Monday, 28 September 2009

ELS -Food for Thought

Today, with the majority of the wheat drilling completed I was able to turn my attention to our Entry Level Stewardship application. Our current scheme expires in November 2010, was it really four years ago I did the last one? My plans are to have the new scheme, ELS and HLS combined up and running by this current spring, which will allow us the summer months to establish a lot of margins. Currently many of these margins are planted to a width of 2m but with increasing pressure around areas of population and a potential for us to loose certain chemicals it would be prudent to protect our operation for as long as possible and if we can get paid as well then that could be a bonus before legislation might force our hand. Chemical loss, such as Metaldyde will severely impact on our business here at Overbury. Wider margins will help reduce any soil erosion run-off, taking chemical particles with them into the water courses. Coupled with the margins I am also looking at some pollen and nectar mixes to provide feed sources for insects, which in turn will provide feed for small birds. The ELS scheme should provide us with a backbone with which to hang an HLS application on with a lot more options and interesting projects to get involved with.