Care needed as BPS application deadline looms
Tomorrow is the deadline for BPS applications, and May 31 the deadline for amending BPS applications without a penalty. BPS applications made after May 15 will incur a 1pc penalty per working day up to June 9, after which no payment will be made.
Arable farmers should inspect their applications carefully during that period to confirm that everything has been submitted correctly. Pay particular attention to crop types as it is very easy to tick the wrong crop type.
Please log in or register with Farming Independent for free access to this article.
That will have serious implications on payments if such a mistake made the difference between meeting the two- or three-crop rule. Where eligible grassland is used to meet that rule, check to ensure that the field selected had an arable crop in 2014 or one of the years since then. Beans, peas and lupins are eligible for payment under the Protein Aid Scheme so, if sown, check to ensure that the correct fields have been selected.
Hedgerows on parcels where the area is declared for EFA purposes - i.e. nitrogen fixing crops, catch crops, short rotation coppice and BPS eligible forestry - cannot be used as EFA landscape features in the same year.
The minimum EFA requirement may be met with the use of field margins where there is a 2m uncultivated strip on the perimeter of an arable crop.
Crops are doing very well so far this year. However, moisture stress will be an issue unless we get rain soon. Many drains, which are normally wet into mid-summer are dry.
Heavy clay soils are already showing cracking, as the clay shrinks. If that progresses much further, heavy rainfall is likely to drain away quickly. Winds have been harsh over the past 10 days and nights cool which may be one reason why disease progression appears to be very slow.
Winter barley is generally at growth stage 39 (full flag leaf) - 49 (first awns) visable - the ideal stage for the final spray. In all cases Chlorothalonil should be included with at least half rate triazole, half rate SDHI and possibly a strob.