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Commodities: Field Crops: Forages

Georgia Forages: Vetch

Dr. Dennis Hancock,
Forage Extension Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences Dept.

Hairy Vetch
h vetch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Bigflower Vetch
bigflower vetch

 

 

 

 

 

 



Common Vetch
common vetch

 

Various species of vetch (hairy vetch, bigflower vetch, common vetch) are sometimes used in Georgia forage systems. Their viney stems support compound leaves with narrow leaflets. Species are generally most easily distinguished by flower color (hairy: purple; bigflower: yellow-white; common: white). Hairy vetch is the vetch species most commonly grown in Georgia.

Vetches are usually seeded in combination with a small grain and/or ryegrass on a prepared seedbed for winter grazing or silage. Grazing must be carefully managed because close grazing will result in the loss of the bud (growing point).

Hairy and common vetch mature later inspring than crimsonclover, but are cold-hardy, more tolerantof low soil pH than most clovers, and have a low bloatpotential. Some common vetch varieties have been developed that are resistant to root-knot nematodes.