SFI Seed Mixtures for IPM2:
Flower Rich Grass Margins, Blocks, or In-Field Strips

Use these seed mixtures to establish grass margins, blocks or in-field strips containing flowering plants during the summer months into early autumn on land entered into the IMP2 SFI action.

For more information about the application of these SFI seed mixtures or to place an order, please call 01233 720871 or email Andrew Bourne or Anelia Clarkson.

IPM2 | Flower Rich Grass Strips

15% |  3kg/ha | CHEWINGS FESCUE

15% | 3kg/ha | HARD FESCUE

45% | 9kg/ha | MAXIMA STRONG CREEPING RED FESCUE

2.5% | 0.5kg/ha | SAINFOIN

15% | 3kg/ha | SMOOTH STALK MEADOW GRASS

2.5% | 0.5kg/ha| VETCH

1.5% | 0.3kg/ha | ROZETA RED CLOVER

0.5% | 0.1kg/ha | BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL

1.25% | 0.25kg/ha | ALSIKE CLOVER

0.25% | 0.05kg/ha | OXEYE DAISY

0.25% | 0.05kg/ha | WILD CARROT

0.25% | 0.05kg/ha | YARROW

0.25% | 0.05kg/ha | SALAD BURNET

0.5% | 0.1kg/ha | RIBWORT PLANTAIN

100% | 20kg/ha

SOWING RATE: 20kg/ha

SFI PAYMENT: £798/ha

KEY BENEFITS: Helps to increase the number of pollinating insects.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SFI GUIDANCE:

You can sow the area of flower-rich grass as a margin, in-field strip or block. There’s no minimum or maximum area. Using wide margins or in-field strips, or large blocks (for example, at least 0.5 hectares (ha)) can help to provide a buffer for beneficial insects when fields are being sprayed.

Sowing a number of margins, in-field strips or blocks, spaced as evenly as possible across your farm, will create a network of habitats for pollinators and other beneficial insects (such as crop pest predators). For example, you could space 5 blocks of 0.5ha evenly across 100ha to allow pollinators and crop pest predators to move across that area.

It will usually help to use sites that receive plenty of sunlight to help the plants establish, and are low in soil fertility, as grasses and weeds can dominate fertile areas and will compete with the flowers.

The margin, block or strip can be located to square up cultivated areas, which may help to speed up farm operations, or close to cropped areas, if you’re using it to help with an IPM approach.

IPM2 | Flower Rich Margin Mix

25% | 5kg/ha | SLENDER CREEPING RED FESCUE

5% | 1kg/ha | HARD FESCUE

12% | 2.4kg/ha | CHEWINGS FESCUE

25% | 5kg/ha | SMOOTH STALK MEADOW GRASS

10% | 02kg/ha | CRESTED DOGSTAIL

3% | 0.6kg/ha | HIGHLAND BENTGRASS

3.25% | 0.65kg/ha | SAINFOIN

3% | 0.6kg/ha | VETCH

2.5% | 0.5kg/ha | BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL

2% | 0.4kg/ha | VIRGO YELLOW TREFOIL

2% | 0.4kg/ha | ROZETA RED CLOVER

1.3% | 0.26kg/ha | OXEYE DAISY

1% | 0.2kg/ha | RIBWORT PLANTAIN

1.2% | 0.24kg/ha | YARROW

2% | 0.4kg/ha | COMMON KNAPWEED

1% | 0.2kg/ha | WILD CARROT

0.25% | 0.05kg/ha | MUSK MALLOW

0.5% | 0.1kg/ha | SELFHEAL

100% | 20kg/ha

SOWING RATE: 20kg/ha

SFI PAYMENT: £798/ha

KEY BENEFITS: Helps to increase numbers of pollinating insects.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SFI GUIDANCE:

You can sow the area of flower-rich grass as a margin, in-field strip or block. There’s no minimum or maximum area. Using wide margins or in-field strips, or large blocks (for example, at least 0.5 hectares (ha)) can help to provide a buffer for beneficial insects when fields are being sprayed.

Sowing a number of margins, in-field strips or blocks, spaced as evenly as possible across your farm, will create a network of habitats for pollinators and other beneficial insects (such as crop pest predators). For example, you could space 5 blocks of 0.5ha evenly across 100ha to allow pollinators and crop pest predators to move across that area.

It will usually help to use sites that receive plenty of sunlight to help the plants establish, and are low in soil fertility, as grasses and weeds can dominate fertile areas and will compete with the flowers.

The margin, block or strip can be located to square up cultivated areas, which may help to speed up farm operations, or close to cropped areas, if you’re using it to help with an IPM approach.

IPM2: Flower Rich Grass Margins, Blocks, or In-Field Strips FAQs

What is the aim of the IMP2 SFI action?

The aim of IPM2 is to establish grass margins, blocks or in-field strips containing flowering plants during the summer months into early autumn.

The purpose of this is to encourage natural crop pest predators as part of an IPM approach if located close to cropped areas. To provide habitat and foraging sites for invertebrates, including natural crop pest predators, wild pollinators such as bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies and hoverflies, and farmland birds

Which seed mix should I choose for the IPM2 SFI application?

You can choose to sow a seed mix containing more wildflower species than IPM2 requires. Using an enhanced mix can be beneficial as it retains more flower species for longer and is likely to mean less frequent re-sowing. It can also help to provide a more varied mix of flowers for invertebrates.

Your seed supplier can help you choose a seed mix that’s the best match for your land and local conditions.

Where and when should I sow an IMP2 seed mixture?

The recommended minimum seed rate for flowers in the mix is 2 kilograms (kg) per hectare.

It will help the seeds to germinate if they’re sown into a seedbed that’s firm, consolidated, fine, level, and weed free. Weather conditions should also be warm and moist, which will usually be the case between March and mid-September – as wildflowers can grow slowly, try to sow by the end of August to avoid frost damage

You can broadcast the seeds onto the surface of the seedbed to help germination. Alternatively, you can shallow-drill the seeds up to a depth of 1 centimetre (cm), as small seeds usually struggle to germinate when sown deeper than 1cm.

If the soil is dry enough, rolling after you’ve sown the seeds can improve seed-to-soil contact, retain moisture and reduce the risk of slug damage.

How should I manage the flower-rich grass margins, blocks or in-field strips for IPM2?

DURING ESTABLISHMENT

During the first spring and summer after sowing, it’s advisable to check the margin, block or in-field strip regularly to monitor germination. If the establishment is poor, you may need to re-sow part or all of it. Your seed supplier can help you if you’re unsure what to do.

Cutting the margin, block or in-field strip regularly during the first 12 months after sowing will help to control weeds, so the sown plants can establish. You can do this whenever the weeds are just above the sown flowers, so they’re starting to shade them out. See ‘cutting the margin, block or in-field strip’ below.

MAINTAINING THE ESTABLISHED MARGINS, BLOCKS OR IN-FIELD STRIPS

Once the margin, block or in-field strip is established, you can cut or graze it with livestock as long as it’s done in a way that could reasonably be expected to achieve the aim of IPM2 (described above).

To help you achieve the action’s aim, you could do some or all of the following:

Cut in the spring (usually before the start of April), so vegetation is short enough to allow flower species to grow without competition from dominant grasses.

Cut or graze the summer growth between mid-August and the end of October – this will help reduce soil fertility and boost flower numbers in subsequent years.

Stagger the cutting or grazing, so all the margins, blocks or in-field strips are not grazed or cut at the same time – this will help to provide a constant supply of flowers for invertebrates.

Leave an area within each margin, block or in-field strip (for example, 10%) uncut or ungrazed each year – this will help to provide a refuge for insects and other wildlife over winter.

CUTTING THE MARGIN, BLOCK, OR STRIP

If you’re cutting the margin, block or strip check it for signs of nesting birds before you cut it – birds, nests and eggs are protected by law, so if you see signs of nesting birds, delay cutting until the birds fledge.

Then remove the cut vegetation, where possible, to help reduce the risk of it smothering the flower species and limit weeds – if it’s impractical to do this, you can finely chop them to spread them as thinly as possible.

What evidence should I keep to prove I have completed IMP2 SFI action?

You should keep evidence to show what you’ve done to complete this action. This will help if it’s not clear that you’ve completed the action in a way that could reasonably be expected to achieve this action’s aim.

This evidence could include photographs and other documentation to show what you’ve done to complete this action. It could also include field operations at a land parcel level and associated invoices. If you choose to take photographs, read the guidance on how to take photographic evidence for SFI actions.

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Phone: +44 1233 720871

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