RP31: Equipment to disrupt tramlines in arable areas

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the equipment to disrupt tramlines in arable areas item.

How much will be paid

£1,500 per machine.

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier


  • in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution from agriculture
  • on farms with crops or fields, identified as at risk of soil erosion in the Farm Environment Record (FER)
  • to purchase one piece of equipment

Applicants must have support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) officer to use this item.

How this item will benefit the environment

It will support the purchase of equipment that can loosen soil that has compacted in wheeled tramlines. This will help reduce surface runoff, risk of soil erosion damage and water pollution.


Agreement holders are likely to:

  • need to purchase a spiked or rotary harrow, or tine device that can have a direct loosening effect on compacted soil in the wheeled tramline area.

Make sure the device is built to attach directly to one of the following:

  • a tractor
  • a sprayer being towed behind a tractor
  • a self-propelled sprayer

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • photographs of the purchased equipment
  • a delivery note with serial number for the equipment

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • report by adviser indicating that the eligibility has been met

The detailed requirements for this item will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Higher Tier applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this item.

Pick a location

Areas most likely to benefit from this item include:

  • fields that are connected to bodies of water at risk of failing water framework directive requirements due to diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA)
  • designated sites that are failing their condition assessment due to DWPA
  • fields that are at risk of soil erosion:
    • as identified in the FER
    • where slopes are complex or are inclined at more than 3 degrees

Seek advice from an agronomist or farm adviser who holds a BASIS soil and water management certificate, or equivalent.

Choose the right equipment

Choose a device:

  • that has a direct loosening effect on compacted soil within the wheeled tramline area, which will improve surface infiltration and increase surface roughness
  • that creates diagonally offset holes (‘pock marks’) to infiltrate the topsoil to a depth of between 7.5cm and 16.5cm

Where a rotary harrow is selected the wheel should be rimmed with spikes that are offset to each other and at a right angle to the direction of travel.

How to use the equipment

The equipment should be used:

  • with correctly inflated tyres to reduce tyre compaction within the tramline area
  • when machinery passes over the soil for the first time or soon after, such as during the first spray operation

Use this item with other measures

This item should be used with other measures that reduce soil erosion and water runoff. These items and options include:

  • in-field grass areas
  • double headlands to disconnect water pathways

Further information

Find further information on sustainable soil husbandry and the identification of soil erosion issues.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) operates in parts of the country where there are water quality issues linked to farming. The scheme provides farmers with free advice and training. See guidance for further information on CSF support.

See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016
  3. First published.