OP2: Wild bird seed mixture

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the wild bird seed mixture option.

How much will be paid

£640 per hectare (ha).

If used as Ecological Focus Area (EFA): £375 per ha.

Where to use this option

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier

Whole or part parcel


Only on:

  • rotational land registered as organic or “in conversion’ with a Defra-licensed organic control body.
  • if the land has been sown to grass it must be for fewer than 7 years

How this option will benefit the environment

It provides a valuable year-round habitat and food for farmland wildlife such as pollinators and farmland birds.

If successful there should be an increase in important food resources for farmland birds, especially in winter and early spring.


Establish a balanced seed mix of at least 3 small-seed bearing plants chosen from the following list:

  • barley
  • triticale
  • kale
  • quinoa
  • linseed
  • millet
  • mustard
  • fodder radish
  • sunflower

The mix must meet organic standards. Apply to your organic control body for a derogation if organic seed is unavailable.

If the chosen mixture fails to establish, re-establish with seeds from the list above as soon as practicable.

Re-establish the mixture every 2 years to maintain seed production.

Create blocks:

  • at least 6m wide
  • at least 0.4ha in area
  • at most 5ha in area

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • seed invoices
  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
  • a valid organic certificate and schedule for all the parcels entered into this option with your annual claim

You should also be aware that at the start of each claim year, a percentage of agreement holders will be asked to take and submit the following photographic evidence:

  • photographs of the blocks or strips

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • a valid organic certificate and schedule for all the parcels entered into this option

The following options can be located on the same area as this option:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

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

As this is a rotational option, it can be moved between eligible parcels, but the same total area (hectarage) should be maintained each year.

For best results, no single species should make up more than 70% of the mix by weight.

Further information

See the Mid Tier manual or 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.