Hairy vetch is a winter annual legume and one of the most productive at nitrogen fixation. A publication from Kansas State University will help cattle producers better understand the risks of common cover crops to livestock. Later seeded vetch grown as a cover crop for green manure, will supply a smaller amount of N. Vetches are also grown for pasture. Cattle may develop muscular problems when grazing vetch, especially when the seeds are forming. Crimson clover may overwinter in southern parts of the state. This problem is more likely to occur when mature vetch with seeds is consumed or when vetch comprises most of the pasture, and is less likely to occur with hay or haylage than with pasture containing vetch. And when cut in late summer for dry hay, the vetch averaged 4,200 lb. Kim Cassida, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences - Hairy vetch is a desirable, nutritious forage and should continue to be used as such. Thank you! Buy now Tech Sheet Tech Sheet (Spanish) Hairy Vetch is a nitrogen-fixing plant that works well as a cover crop. Terminate before seed production to avoid hard seed The plant has a large seed that allows seedlings to emerge through a thatch of three to four inches to reach sunlight. There are a few exceptions to the rule that cover crops can be safely eaten by livestock. February 27, 2013. Some producers may find the late maturity of WinterKing reduces the potential for undesired seed propagation found in earlier maturing cover crop varieties. Better winter hardiness equates to more biomass. Hairy vetch can also be grazed or harvested as forage. It is commonly grown with a small grain crop (rye, wheat or oats) or with annual ryegrass to … WinterKing has shown potential to produce 150-200#N/acre, especially when allowed to reach maturity later in the season. Images Vetches are usually seeded in combination with a small grain and/or ryegrass on a prepared seedbed for winter grazing or silage. Alternately, magnesium can be added to water tanks. Many innovative cover crop and forage solutions are available at Legumes provide the additional benefit of nitrogen fixation. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) is often used as a forage legume or cover crop throughout many temperate areas of the world, including the United States. WinterKing hairy vetch can be seeded at a rate of 10-40 lbs/acre depending on the mix or purpose. Ideal seeding depth: ½–1½". More biomass provides increased forage for livestock, more biomass for cover croppers, and increased weed suppression for all. The mortality rate for affected animals ranges from 50-100%, typically as a result of kidney failure. However, small grains can be harvested at earlier maturities for better quality and less yield during a supply emergency. The minimum rainfall requirement for these species is 350 mm per annum, provided that distribution correlates with its production curve. Cattle grazing pure stands of vetch have developed dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), similar to photosens- itization. Hairy vetch has a large seed and will reseed naturally if cattle are removed prior to the bud stage or if hay cutting is terminated early enough to allow plants to mature. It produces most of its growth during autumn, winter and spring. Vetch is grown in many areas of the country and makes a high-quality hay when grown alone or mixed with small grains. Though a good stand of this winter annual legume alone can provide good cover, it also can make a good companion species to ryegrass and, in particular, small grains. This will help us direct you to the correct source. I have not found much on the topic, only that cattle can die from eating it. The Michigan Forage Technology Conference on Thursday, March 7, will answer your questions about how to alleviate forage shortages through use of cover crops for grazing or hay. In September, at Kimberly, hairy vetch RFQ ranged from 141 to 175 and chickling vetch had an RFQ of 128. Photosensitization can also occur in ruminants fed buckwheat forage, but is rare. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. A type of legume, hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) is a cold-hardy plant belonging to the same plant family as beans and peas. Brassicas, such as turnips, are high quality, deep rooted and grow in dry conditions. A small grain hay crop may not be ready earlier than perennial hay crops, but it can add some security to a farm’s forage inventory or provide an extra source of sales income. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. It has been Hairy vetch is a dependable, widely adapted, cool-season annual legume used throughout Oklahoma. However, it is not recommended for livestock because of its toxicity to cattle and horses. per acre. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Villana hairy vetch is the ideal cover crop, livestock forage, and nitrogen fixing green manure crop. For best results, plant 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost. Standard bloat precautions such as taking the edge off the appetite of hungry animals before turnout, acclimating animals to new pasture gradually over several days, offering a dry hay supplement or adding a bloat preventative to water sources should be taken. It can also be used in feed as hay, silage or grazing due to its high crude protein content. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Studies at the University of Florida showed that hairy indigo can produce up to 12 tons of dry matter per acre that would contain about 20% crude protein and 50-60% digestibility. Villana has a lower seed count when compared to to other hairy vetches, causing less adventitious seed left in the ground after use. ‘Americus’ hairy vetch produces an abundance of dry matter for soil enrichment and protection. It is most commonly used as grazing or hay production. Privacy Policy. In the first four years, the hairy vetch, oats and peas yielded roughly eight U.S. tons of silage per acre. In cattle and horses, grazing hairy vetch sometimes causes a painful dermatitis across the entire body or neurological signs. This site needs Javascript enabled to fully function. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. Hairy vetch develops best under cool temperature conditions, on fertile loam soils; it is also productive on sandy or clay soils. Hairy vetch is a legume used primarily for soil improvement along roadsides and for bank stabilization. For livestock producers, WinterKing’s late maturity means more vegetative high value feed longer into the spring season. Hairy vetch can be grazed or harvested as a hay crop. This forage legume is also known as hairy vetch or winter vetch. Hairy Vetch is a viney, cool season legume best used in a crop rotation for erosion control or as a cover crop. Hairy vetch prompts an allergic reaction with symptoms such as subcutaneous swelling, photosensitization, hair matting, skin sloughing, oral ulcers, cough, alopecia, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, decreased milk production, sporadic abortions, red-tinged urine, and death. When grazing or hairy vetch is sown on its own, a sowing density of 35 kg/ha is recommended. It can also be used in grazing, although it is best used in a rotational grazing setup since it doesn't tolerate being grazed close to the ground very well. In order to expedite your request, we may send your inquiry directly to one of our distributors or industry experts. Only rye, wheat, barley, triticale and red clover will reliably overwinter in Michigan. Hairy Vetch is best grown with plants like cereal rye that enable the hairy vetch to climb up the cereal rye to allow air movement across the soil surface. That said, it may take us a day or two. The upcoming Michigan Forage Technology Conference on March 7 in East Lansing, Mich., will teach the specifics of how to use cover crops as forage. All of the cover crops mentioned above are also excellent choices for spring or summer planting onto open crop ground such as after wheat grain harvest. Ideal seeding depth: ½–1½". 'Americus’ Hairy Vetch In 1993 a late maturing hairy vetch called ‘Americus’ hairy vetch was released by Jimmy Carter PMC and the University of Georgia. Hairy vetch is a winter annual legume that offers a number of potential benefits to row-crop or livestock producers when used as a winter cover crop. This problem is more likely to occur when mature vetch with seeds is consumed or when vetch comprises most of the pasture, and is less likely to occur with hay or haylage than with pasture containing vetch. 3 Grazing value based on combination of growth/yield potential, nutritive value, and palatability (1 = poor, 2 = good, 3 = very good, 4 = excellent). Mix with cereal rye for increased weed suppression and increased winter survival of hairy vetch; Soil health benefits: source of nitrogen, increases weed control; Slow-growing cover crop so seed early for best growth; Not a good option for grazing. Mineral mixes should include magnesium to help prevent grass tetany. But this palatable legume may cause major health problems, and even death, if cattle are not observed closely for signs of disease and removed immediately if they occur. WinterKing hairy vetch can be seeded at a rate of 10-40 lbs/acre depending on the mix or purpose. When harvested as hay, haylage or balage, recommended maturity stage is early milk for the optimum compromise of yield and forage quality in small grains. The conference is sponsored by the Michigan Forage Council, Michigan State University and Michigan State University Extension. When hairy vetch, common vetch, crimson clover, and Austrian winter pea were planted in a mixture with cereal rye, spring oats, or winter wheat, the cereal rye/hairy vetch mixture had 30 to 45 percent less residual inorganic soil nitrogen than legume-only plots. Hairy indigo leaves are also nutritious for goats. The answer, in most cases, is yes. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. For example, if cereal rye and hairy vetch are planted in a mixture, the seeding rate of 50 lbs rye (50/65 = 77%) with 9 lb vetch (9/20 = 45%) would be 122%. Roll kill, selective or non-selective herbicide allows for no-till seeding into terminated stand. Hairy vetch is also used as fodder and can be grazed, or cut for hay and silage. Well-nodulated hairy vetch can enrich the soil with 60 to 120 lb/acre of nitrogen through nitrogen fixation. Fall-planted buckwheat is not a concern when grazing cover crops in spring because it is extremely frost-sensitive and will not overwinter in Michigan, but it is not the best choice for spring or summer plantings that might be fed to livestock. Join experts to discuss the latest in animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry. Research has shown that hairy vetch mulch can increase main crop disease resistance and prolong leaf photosynthesis of the following crop. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). We know that your time is valuable and are committed to responding promptly. If a decision is made in late winter about grazing or haying a small grain cover crop that does not contain any legume, forage value may be increased by frostseeding a fast-growing legume such as crimson or red clover into the cover crop during late February or March. Buckwheat should not be fed to horses as pasture, hay or haylage because it can cause photosensitization. Many plant species used as cover crops have long histories of use as forage crops for hay or grazing. Drop us a note using the form below. Cereal rye is a great choice for those needing fall and early spring grazing. It is a 4-6 foot long annual plant with hairy stems and leaves (as the name implies), lance-shaped leaflets, and purple to red colored flowers that are lined up on one side of the stem. See Establishment Guidelines for Legumes for more details. Hairy vetch and winter peas have potential to be very useful additions to grazing mixtures. Hairy Vetch performs best on well-drained soils and mild soil conditions. My concern is the poisonous nature of hairy vetch for cattle. A hairy vetch blend seems to be the ideal cover crop—good N2 fixation with the potential of lots of residue. Cattle have been poisoned by grazing woolly pod and popany vetch (V benghalensis) and it has been reported in the literature as being associated with grazing Hairy Vetch in various countries. For best results, plant 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost. 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