Catch crops supported by the AEC measure in Baden-Württemberg play a key role in reducing the nitrate level in the region.
The incorporation of catch crops into the crop rotation of farms is associated with a variety of agronomic and environmental benefits. All these advantages have led to the cultivation of catch crops being recognised as an "ecological priority area" in the 1st Pillar of the CAP and their funding through agri-environmental programmes in several federal states of Germany.
In Baden-Württemberg catch crops are part of the support scheme for agri-environment, climate protection and animal welfare (Förderprogramm für Agrarumwelt, Klimaschutz und Tierwohl – FAKT) of the rural development programme. The sub-measure E.1.2 “Greening mix in agriculture and horticulture” provides farmers 90 EUR per ha.
In 2017, around 1 300 farmers with 13 000 ha committed to this type of operation in return for around 1.17 million EUR of public money.