We're working with maize growers to prevent soil and valuable nutrients reaching river and groundwater.

January 2020 - a Sussex maize field that has been undersown with grass, shown after the maize has been harvested.

Over the last five years, we have been working with Sussex maize growers to trial different methods of preventing soil loss.

If the fields are left bare over winter after the maize is harvested, the sediment and nutrients within the soil often end up in local rivers, reducing the quality of the water and potentially harming the wildlife within them.

Although we can and do remove any harmful substances during the water treatment process, removing them at the source means less energy and fewer chemicals are needed to make the water safe to drink.

We found that growing grass in-between the rows of maize helps prevent soil loss and makes the fields easier to manage too.

Importantly, it doesn't affect the amount of maize produced.

As part of our capital grants scheme, funding of up to £160 p/ha is available across our water supply area for farmers wishing to inter-row sow their maize with grass - as well as a range of other measures to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their farm.

For more information, please email catchment@southeastwater.co.uk, putting 'maize' in the subject line.

Capital grant funding map

Funding is available for a range of options in the orange highlighted areas above.

Sustainable maize management e-workshop

On 18 February 2021 we held an online workshop about sustainable maize management, with John Morgan from the Maize Growers Association.

Re-watch it here

Passcode: qx2Nxn.&

Soil innovation funding

We're asking Sussex farmers to put their thinking caps on and suggest innovative ideas to prevent soil from reaching the River Ouse and Eastern Rother, in return for grants of up to £10,000.

Find out more

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