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      AB15 Two-year Sown Legume Fallow

      A mixture of flowering legumes with the option of adding grasses to help smother blackgrass and other competitive grass weeds, making it particularly useful where blackgrass is a problem. The flowering legumes provide pollen and nectar for pollinators and chick food for farmland birds.

      AB15 Two-year sown legume fallow is particularly useful where blackgrass is a problem. It can reduce blackgrass populations effectively when used as part of a rotation. The flowering
      legumes in the mix also provide pollen and nectar for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths, and chick food for farmland birds

      A mixture of flowering legumes with the option of adding grasses to help smother blackgrass and other competitive grass weeds.

      Example AB15: Two-year sown legume fallow mix

      • Red Clover
      • Alsike Clover
      • Birdsfoot Trefoil
      • Vetch
      • Black Medic
      • Lucerne
      • Black Medick
      • Grasses
      (optional): cocksfoot, perennial ryegrass, timothy

      AB15 Two-year sown legume fallow is eligible for a payment of £522 per hectare under the Countryside Stewardship Mid and Higher Tier agreements.

      Find out more:
      DEFRA Countryside Stewardship grants

      How to sow AB15: Two-year sown legume fallow mix successfully

      • Sow fields on a part or whole field scale within the rotation
      • Sow in late summer or early autumn at a rate of 15kg/ha in light/medium soils, increasing to 20kg/ha where soils are heavier
      • Sow as soon as possible after harvest in years 1 and 3, ideally by 31st August
      • Retain for two years before re-establishment
      • Mow as often as necessary to prevent blackgrass seeding (see sowing requirements)
      • Prepare for more frequent subsequent cuts as blackgrass re-heads more rapidly after each cut
      • Avoid using fertilisers or sprays as this reduces the abundance of flowers

      Sowing requirements

      1. Establish by sowing a seed mix containing a minimum of six flower species as soon as possible after harvest in years 1 and 3

      2. Cut at least twice in the first 12 months after sowing between 1st March and 31st October to prevent blackgrass heading

      3. Keep until 15th August in the second summer after sowing

      4. Cutting is recommended between 1st March and 15th May in the second year after establishment

      5. Do not graze or conserve forage

      6. Keep records of all field operations including associated invoices

      7. Take photographs of the option

      Returning the legume fallow area to crop production

      1. Spray the legume fallow mix with a non-selective herbicide, if necessary, before cultivating for the next crop

      2. Return the area to the farm rotation after 15th Aug