Information Sheet - Vetch, Hairy in Ontario Field Crops

Eastern Canada cover crop selector tool

Planting Information
Drilled Seeding Depth ½-1½ inch [1.3 - 3.8 cm]
Drilled Seeding Rate 15-25 lb/ac [17-28 kg/ha]
Broadcast and incorporated rate should be 10 - 20% higher than drilled rate. Increase seeding rate in late fall.
Aerial seeding rate Recommended at least 25% higher than drilled rate.
Seeds per lb 16320 (metric: 36,000 )
Frost Seed No
Legume inoculation type pea/vetch. Not a recommendation for the need to inoculate
Comments If the system is organic, be careful to use an OMRI certified inoculum.
Termination Information
Termination Methods Tillage, Mow, Herbicide
Termination Comments If terminating with only tillage, multiple passes often required
Performance Roles
Legume Nitrogen Source Very Good
N scavenger + N holder Fair
Organic matter/soil builder Good
Compaction Fighter Fair
Water Erosion Fighter Good
Wind Erosion Fighter Good
Weed Fighter Good
Winter Survival Never
Winter Kill Never
Quick Growth Fair
Lasting Residue Fair
Quick Residue Breakdown Poor - Mature crops are slower to decompose. Manage termination accordingly.
Potential Biofumigant Poor
Forage Harvest Fair
Seed Harvest Poor
Interseed with Cash Crop Good
Total Nitrogen 40 lb/ac [45 kg/ha]
Dry Matter per year 1500-4000 lb/ac [1700-4500 kg/ha] - Dry matter and N content depends on amount of crop growth and maturity.
Comments N Credit: Based on spring stand growth; Bi-culture with small grain expands seasonal adaptability; May cause bloat in cattle/sheep.
Cultural Traits
Scientific Name Vicia villosa
Life Cycle Winter Annual, Cool Season Annual
Growth Habit Climbing
Prefered Soil pH 6.0-7.0
Relative Costs (per area) 2
Min. Germination Temp. 55F/13C
Heat Tolerance Fair
Drought Tolerance Good
Shade Tolerance Good
Flood Tolerance Fair
Low Fertility Tolerance Good
Comments Winter survival depends on fall growth
Potential Advantages, these are general, tentative ratings
Loosen subsoil Fair
Makes P&K more available to crops Poor
Loosens Topsoil Very Good
Soil Ecology - Suppresses Nematodes Very Good
Soil Ecology - Suppresses Disease Good, check for specific diseases
Weed Control - Allelopathy Good
Weed Control - Chokes Weeds Fair
Attracts Beneficials Fair
Takes foot or vehicle traffic Fair
Short Windows Poor, growth in a short time period
Comments Tolerates low fertility, wide pH range, cold or flutuating winters. Non host for sugarbeet cyst nematode and a poor host for soybean cyst nematode.
Potential Disadvantages (these are general ratings)
Volunteer Establishment (includes hard seed) Could be moderate problem
Weed Potential Could be a major problem, includes hard seed, likelihood to produce seed or survive termination
Insects/Nematodes/Slugs Could be moderate problem
Crop Disease Rarely a problem, check for specific diseases
Establishment Challenges Could be a minor problem
Challenges incorporating mature residues Could be moderate problem
Comments Do not plant in fields where small grains are grown for a cash crop since seed contamination decreases small grain value. Host for root knot nematode and Penetrans Root-Lesion Nematode.

The ability to achieve goals depends on appropriate situation and proper management.