Set-aside rule change
SET-ASIDE headlands as narrow as 10m (33ft) are now permissible, offering growers a new approach to protecting watercourses and implementing LERAP spray buffer zones this autumn.
The EU change applies to set-aside alongside permanent watercourses and lakes. Each such area must be at least 0.3ha (0.75 acres).
But what constitutes a permanent watercourse? Guidance from the Arable Area Payments Scheme 2000 guide may not arrive in time for autumn sowing, says James Clarke of ADAS Boxworth.
"My understanding is that the UK definition will mirror the Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water, defining watercourses as all surface waters, including coastal waters, estuaries, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, canals and field ditches," he says.