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EFA Catch & Cover Crop Mixtures

Catch crops and cover crops are used to protect the soil and use available nutrients between harvesting and sowing. Under the EFA rules, catch crops or cover crops must be made up of a sown mix of at least 2 different cover types that establish quickly, achieve ground cover and will use available nutrients. The minimum area of EFA catch or cover crops is 0.01 hectares. They must be on arable land. To count as an EFA, farmers can use any percentage of a sown mix, as long as there is a visible mix of at least 2 different crops from this list (a minimum of one cereal and one non-cereal):


Species allowed for EFA:

Cereal - Barley, Oats & Rye

Non-Cereal - Phacelia, Vetch, Mustard, Radish & Lucerne

To count as an EFA, catch crops must be established by 20th of August and retained until at least 14th of October.

To count as an EFA, cover crops must be established by 1st of October and retained until at least 15th of January.


Grass or leguminous crops or a mix of both can be counted as either an EFA catch crop or an EFA cover crop, as long as it was under-sown in the previous crop and is visible and dense enough to cover the ground by the start of the catch crop or cover crop period. Read the list of crops to find out which catch and cover crops can count as an EFA. The regulations don’t allow farmers to include crops that are usually grazed, so kale and stubble turnips don’t count. Farmers can include other crops in their catch crops or cover crops, but these areas cannot count as part of their EFA.

All information is correct at the time of writing. Please check the latest details with your local advisor

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