Vital

Hairy Vetch

Vicia villosa

Technical Data Sheet
Technical Data Sheet

Vital

Hairy Vetch

Vicia villosa

Vital

Hairy Vetch

Vicia villosa

Technical Data Sheet

Description

Purpose & Fit

A pioneer species that will remain green longer than common vetch, hairy vetch will proliferate quickly during spring months. Flowering and seeding occur late in the season, and it can be used as fodder, grazed, or cut for hay/silage. Although hairy vetch needs a relatively weed-free seedbed, it does exhibit some allelopathic properties that will result in weed reduction. Only moderately palatable, dairy cows grazed on hairy vetch produced similar amounts of milk to those grazing Persian clover despite lower organic matter digestibility (74% vs. 78%) and sugar content (8.6% vs. 13.6%). Unlike clovers, hairy vetch will not cause bloat. Even with dry matter production less than that of other cool-season annual legumes, the plant will dependably produce with little trouble. When grown for a full season, hairy vetch can contribute between 40 – 200 lb/A of N to soils. Able to withstand trampling, hairy vetch will provide spring grazing and have a feed value slightly lower than clover or alfalfa. Hairy vetch is the most winter-hardy of the commercial vetches.

Growth Pattern

Hairy vetch is an annual or biannual with a woolly appearance due to long soft hairs on the stems and leaves. A horizontal growth pattern occurs when first planted, but over time hairy vetch will grow between 12 – 28 inches in height. A primary taproot will reach 1 – 3 feet deep, and strong lateral and secondary roots make up the rest of the root system. Above ground, 3 – 10 branching stems measuring 3 – 8 feet long carry between eight and twenty-four paired leaflets. Purple, blue, and white flowers will form on plants along with fawn-colored pods.

Interseeding

Interseed hairy vetch into corn and sunflowers as an alternative to gain additional biomass production/organic matter, nitrogen fixation, and prevent erosion. When necessary, hairy vetch can be plowed or grazed. The four-leaf stage of sunflowers is the recommended time for interseeding hairy vetch with between twenty-two and thirty-inch row plantings for the corn or sunflowers.

Did You Know?

Seeds/Lb: 12,000 – 16,000

Description

Purpose & Fit

A pioneer species that will remain green longer than common vetch, hairy vetch will proliferate quickly during spring months. Flowering and seeding occur late in the season, and it can be used as fodder, grazed, or cut for hay/silage. Although hairy vetch needs a relatively weed-free seedbed, it does exhibit some allelopathic properties that will result in weed reduction. Only moderately palatable, dairy cows grazed on hairy vetch produced similar amounts of milk to those grazing Persian clover despite lower organic matter digestibility (74% vs. 78%) and sugar content (8.6% vs. 13.6%). Unlike clovers, hairy vetch will not cause bloat. Even with dry matter production less than that of other cool-season annual legumes, the plant will dependably produce with little trouble. When grown for a full season, hairy vetch can contribute between 40 – 200 lb/A of N to soils. Able to withstand trampling, hairy vetch will provide spring grazing and have a feed value slightly lower than clover or alfalfa. Hairy vetch is the most winter-hardy of the commercial vetches.

Growth Pattern

Hairy vetch is an annual or biannual with a woolly appearance due to long soft hairs on the stems and leaves. A horizontal growth pattern occurs when first planted, but over time hairy vetch will grow between 12 – 28 inches in height. A primary taproot will reach 1 – 3 feet deep, and strong lateral and secondary roots make up the rest of the root system. Above ground, 3 – 10 branching stems measuring 3 – 8 feet long carry between eight and twenty-four paired leaflets. Purple, blue, and white flowers will form on plants along with fawn-colored pods.

Interseeding

Interseed hairy vetch into corn and sunflowers as an alternative to gain additional biomass production/organic matter, nitrogen fixation, and prevent erosion. When necessary, hairy vetch can be plowed or grazed. The four-leaf stage of sunflowers is the recommended time for interseeding hairy vetch with between twenty-two and thirty-inch row plantings for the corn or sunflowers.

Did You Know?

Seeds/Lb: 12,000 – 16,000

Description

Purpose & Fit

A pioneer species that will remain green longer than common vetch, hairy vetch will proliferate quickly during spring months. Flowering and seeding occur late in the season, and it can be used as fodder, grazed, or cut for hay/silage. Although hairy vetch needs a relatively weed-free seedbed, it does exhibit some allelopathic properties that will result in weed reduction. Only moderately palatable, dairy cows grazed on hairy vetch produced similar amounts of milk to those grazing Persian clover despite lower organic matter digestibility (74% vs. 78%) and sugar content (8.6% vs. 13.6%). Unlike clovers, hairy vetch will not cause bloat. Even with dry matter production less than that of other cool-season annual legumes, the plant will dependably produce with little trouble. When grown for a full season, hairy vetch can contribute between 40 – 200 lb/A of N to soils. Able to withstand trampling, hairy vetch will provide spring grazing and have a feed value slightly lower than clover or alfalfa. Hairy vetch is the most winter-hardy of the commercial vetches.

Growth Pattern

Hairy vetch is an annual or biannual with a woolly appearance due to long soft hairs on the stems and leaves. A horizontal growth pattern occurs when first planted, but over time hairy vetch will grow between 12 – 28 inches in height. A primary taproot will reach 1 – 3 feet deep, and strong lateral and secondary roots make up the rest of the root system. Above ground, 3 – 10 branching stems measuring 3 – 8 feet long carry between eight and twenty-four paired leaflets. Purple, blue, and white flowers will form on plants along with fawn-colored pods.

Interseeding

Interseed hairy vetch into corn and sunflowers as an alternative to gain additional biomass production/organic matter, nitrogen fixation, and prevent erosion. When necessary, hairy vetch can be plowed or grazed. The four-leaf stage of sunflowers is the recommended time for interseeding hairy vetch with between twenty-two and thirty-inch row plantings for the corn or sunflowers.

Did You Know?

Seeds/Lb: 12,000 – 16,000

Adaptation

Climate & Soil

Vital hairy vetch is winter hardy but will do better when grown with a companion crop or some coverage, including snow or cover crop residues. Preferred moisture conditions are between twelve and thirty-six inches of annual precipitation or irrigation.

Hairy vetch thrives in full sunlight and will tolerate a range of soil types, including more acidic soil than many other forage legumes. Vital Hairy vetch is moderately tolerant to salinity and prefers soils high in available potassium.
Relatively drought and shade-tolerant, poorly drained soils will weaken the plant. Temporary flooding is okay, but hairy vetch will not tolerate waterlogging.

Soil pH: 5.2 – 8.2

Optimum Growth Range: 46°F – 77°F

Adaptation

Climate & Soil

Vital hairy vetch is winter hardy but will do better when grown with a companion crop or some coverage, including snow or cover crop residues. Preferred moisture conditions are between twelve and thirty-six inches of annual precipitation or irrigation.

Hairy vetch thrives in full sunlight and will tolerate a range of soil types, including more acidic soil than many other forage legumes. Vital Hairy vetch is moderately tolerant to salinity and prefers soils high in available potassium.
Relatively drought and shade-tolerant, poorly drained soils will weaken the plant. Temporary flooding is okay, but hairy vetch will not tolerate waterlogging.

Soil pH: 5.2 – 8.2

Optimum Growth Range: 46°F – 77°F

Adaptation

Climate & Soil

Vital hairy vetch is winter hardy but will do better when grown with a companion crop or some coverage, including snow or cover crop residues. Preferred moisture conditions are between twelve and thirty-six inches of annual precipitation or irrigation.

Hairy vetch thrives in full sunlight and will tolerate a range of soil types, including more acidic soil than many other forage legumes. Vital Hairy vetch is moderately tolerant to salinity and prefers soils high in available potassium.
Relatively drought and shade-tolerant, poorly drained soils will weaken the plant. Temporary flooding is okay, but hairy vetch will not tolerate waterlogging.

Soil pH: 5.2 – 8.2

Optimum Growth Range: 46°F – 77°F

Establishment

Planting

Vital Hairy vetch should be planted into moist soils to ensure proper inoculation. Sow in late summer in colder climates or mid-autumn in warm climates. Spring sowings will assist in providing biomass before the summer heat begins. Best adapted to loamy/sandy soils, plowing, or heavy disking will be necessary if there is significant weed infestation or interseeding with grasses.

Seeding Depth: ¼” – ½”

Germination

Germination will occur slower under dryer conditions. If spring-planted, hairy vetch will produce some seed in the same season.

Min Time To Emergence: 14 days

Ideal Temp: 70°F

Seeding Rate

Monoculture: 25 lb/A – 40 lb/A

Establishment

Planting

Vital Hairy vetch should be planted into moist soils to ensure proper inoculation. Sow in late summer in colder climates or mid-autumn in warm climates. Spring sowings will assist in providing biomass before the summer heat begins. Best adapted to loamy/sandy soils, plowing, or heavy disking will be necessary if there is significant weed infestation or interseeding with grasses.

Seeding Depth: ¼” – ½”

Germination

Germination will occur slower under dryer conditions. If spring-planted, hairy vetch will produce some seed in the same season.

Min Time To Emergence: 14 days

Ideal Temp: 70°F

Seeding Rate

Monoculture: 25 lb/A – 40 lb/A

Establishment

Planting

Vital Hairy vetch should be planted into moist soils to ensure proper inoculation. Sow in late summer in colder climates or mid-autumn in warm climates. Spring sowings will assist in providing biomass before the summer heat begins. Best adapted to loamy/sandy soils, plowing, or heavy disking will be necessary if there is significant weed infestation or interseeding with grasses.

Seeding Depth: ¼” – ½”

Germination

Germination will occur slower under dryer conditions. If spring-planted, hairy vetch will produce some seed in the same season.

Min Time To Emergence: 14 days

Ideal Temp: 70°F

Seeding Rate

Monoculture: 25 lb/A – 40 lb/A

Management

Grazing

Graze Vital hairy vetch from the 10 – 15 node stage through flowering. Remove livestock once plants produce seed pods as the seeds can be poisonous to livestock. Vital hairy vetch will not withstand heavy grazing.

Earliest Time To Graze: 6″ – 8″

Fertilizer Requirements

Applications of 40 lb/A phosphorus and 120 lb/A potassium are adequate for most soils. A soil test indicating at least 25 ppm phosphorus and 110 ppm potassium will mean you can eliminate most fertilization. Hairy vetch responds well to grounds high in available potassium.

At Planting: 15 lb/A N – 25 lb/A N

During Grazing Season: Not Applicable

Hay or Silage?

Plant hairy vetch in a mixture with grass or small grains to allow for mechanical cutting.

Timing: Just before the onset of pods (slightly after the recommended rye window for an area)

Cuttings During Season: 2

Recovery

Minimum Graze Height: 4″

Rest Period: Variable. Wait until Vital Hairy Vetch has between 10 – 15 nodes or has flowered to resume grazing and ensure strong regrowth.

Mixes

  • Rye (prone to tangling)
  • Wheat
  • Oats

Yields

Tons of Dry Matter/A: 1.5 – 3.5

Management

Grazing

Graze Vital hairy vetch from the 10 – 15 node stage through flowering. Remove livestock once plants produce seed pods as the seeds can be poisonous to livestock. Vital hairy vetch will not withstand heavy grazing.

Earliest Time To Graze: 6″ – 8″

Fertilizer Requirements

Applications of 40 lb/A phosphorus and 120 lb/A potassium are adequate for most soils. A soil test indicating at least 25 ppm phosphorus and 110 ppm potassium will mean you can eliminate most fertilization. Hairy vetch responds well to grounds high in available potassium.

At Planting: 15 lb/A N – 25 lb/A N

During Grazing Season: Not Applicable

Hay or Silage?

Plant hairy vetch in a mixture with grass or small grains to allow for mechanical cutting.

Timing: Just before the onset of pods (slightly after the recommended rye window for an area)

Cuttings During Season: 2

Recovery

Minimum Graze Height: 4″

Rest Period: Variable. Wait until Vital Hairy Vetch has between 10 – 15 nodes or has flowered to resume grazing and ensure strong regrowth.

Mixes

  • Rye (prone to tangling)
  • Wheat
  • Oats

Yields

Tons of Dry Matter/A: 1.5 – 3.5

Management

Grazing

Graze Vital hairy vetch from the 10 – 15 node stage through flowering. Remove livestock once plants produce seed pods as the seeds can be poisonous to livestock. Vital hairy vetch will not withstand heavy grazing.

Earliest Time To Graze: 6″ – 8″

Fertilizer Requirements

Applications of 40 lb/A phosphorus and 120 lb/A potassium are adequate for most soils. A soil test indicating at least 25 ppm phosphorus and 110 ppm potassium will mean you can eliminate most fertilization. Hairy vetch responds well to grounds high in available potassium.

At Planting: 15 lb/A N – 25 lb/A N

During Grazing Season: Not Applicable

Hay or Silage

Plant hairy vetch in a mixture with grass or small grains to allow for mechanical cutting.

Timing: Just before the onset of pods (slightly after the recommended rye window for an area)

Cuttings During Season: 2

Recovery

Minimum Graze Height: 4″

Rest Period: Variable. Wait until Vital Hairy Vetch has between 10 – 15 nodes or has flowered to resume grazing and ensure strong regrowth.

Mixes

  • Rye (prone to tangling)
  • Wheat
  • Oats

Yields

Tons of Dry Matter/A: 1.5 – 3.5

Considerations

Permanent Pasture

Plant row crops every 3 – 5 years to mitigate weeds forming in stands.

Competitiveness

Hairy vetch is at first not competitive and will need a weed-free environment for the establishment. Once established, hairy vetch does have the ability to choke out weeds.

Risks

Hairy vetch plants can be poisonous to cattle, horses, and poultry. The toxic agent and conditions for occurrence are unknown, but typically it will involve animals with black pigmented skin. Many years can pass without incident. Never feed the seeds to animals as they are highly toxic. To avoid issues with toxicity, utilize seed mixtures instead of planting monocultures.

Diseases

  • Black Stem
  • Root Rot
  • Gray Mold
  • Leaf Spot
  • Downy Mildew
  • Stem Rot

Pests

  • Pea Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Corn Earworm
  • Fall Armyworm
  • Vetch Bruchid
  • Grasshoppers
  • Lygus Bugs
  • Leafhopper
  • Root-Knot Nematode

Considerations

Permanent Pasture

Plant row crops every 3 – 5 years to mitigate weeds forming in stands.

Competitiveness

Hairy vetch is at first not competitive and will need a weed-free environment for the establishment. Once established, hairy vetch does have the ability to choke out weeds.

Risks

Hairy vetch plants can be poisonous to cattle, horses, and poultry. The toxic agent and conditions for occurrence are unknown, but typically it will involve animals with black pigmented skin. Many years can pass without incident. Never feed the seeds to animals as they are highly toxic. To avoid issues with toxicity, utilize seed mixtures instead of planting monocultures.

Diseases

  • Black Stem
  • Root Rot
  • Gray Mold
  • Leaf Spot
  • Downy Mildew
  • Stem Rot

Pests

  • Pea Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Corn Earworm
  • Fall Armyworm
  • Vetch Bruchid
  • Grasshoppers
  • Lygus Bugs
  • Leafhopper
  • Root-Knot Nematode

Considerations

Permanent Pasture

Plant row crops every 3 – 5 years to mitigate weeds forming in stands.

Competitiveness

Hairy vetch is at first not competitive and will need a weed-free environment for the establishment. Once established, hairy vetch does have the ability to choke out weeds.

Risks

Hairy vetch plants can be poisonous to cattle, horses, and poultry. The toxic agent and conditions for occurrence are unknown, but typically it will involve animals with black pigmented skin. Many years can pass without incident. Never feed the seeds to animals as they are highly toxic. To avoid issues with toxicity, utilize seed mixtures instead of planting monocultures.

Diseases

  • Black Stem
  • Root Rot
  • Gray Mold
  • Leaf Spot
  • Downy Mildew
  • Stem Rot

Pests

  • Pea Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Corn Earworm
  • Fall Armyworm
  • Vetch Bruchid
  • Grasshoppers
  • Lygus Bugs
  • Leafhopper
  • Root-Knot Nematode

Please Note:

All information provided is the result of research, our own experience, or the experiences shared by our customers.

We strongly encourage consulting additional resources before planting to ensure the best fit for your location and needs.

Questions or Advice
Share Your Experience

Please Note:

All information provided is the result of research, our own experience, or the experiences shared by our customers.

We strongly encourage consulting additional resources before planting to ensure the best fit for your location and needs.

Questions or Advice
Share Your Experience

Please Note:

All information provided is the result of research, our own experience, or the experiences shared by our customers.

We strongly encourage consulting additional resources before planting to ensure the best fit for your location and needs.

Questions or Advice
Share Your Experience