Hairy vetch and others.......

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Medic24
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Hairy vetch and others.......

Post by Medic24 » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:24 am

Ok, I have in fact decided to do the kudzo thing on several areas that will not be able to 'get-out' without being eaten by the cattle, but , was also wondering...who has experience with hairy vetch? Tough to grow? need inoculation of any sort?

The problem here is this.... very poor, and acidic soils in most of the pastures, so much so that the soil reports call for up to 4 tons of lime per acre, and unlike most places were lime is fairly cheap, we can only get it in bagged form, over $85.00 a ton, and the other issue is that there are few areas that it can be spead by machine, most areas will require a hand job.

so, I am grasping for plants that can tolerate this poor soil and give better then average returns as far as forage values......

any other suggestions? :cboy:


I am poor, but yet I am rich, fore I till the soil......naw....... who am I fooling? I am just plain dirt poor!

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Post by Chuckie » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:51 am

Medic, I have never planted Hairy Vetch before, but, it comes up everywhere here in West TN. In very poor soil, or anywhere you might not want it. It is as common as Johnson grass here. I have seen vetch planted to cover the graded side of the interstate where they have stripped the top soil off, and it comes up solid. Mostly I see it in wheat fields. It will cover the top of the wheat sometimes. It is putting nitrogen in the ground for the wheat, and at the same time, shading the sun out. I am thinking that it will come up anywhere you put it and most if you apply fertilizer too.

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Post by Medic24 » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:00 am

Ahhh, but one wonders just how attractive to cattle it would be...... are you talking about crown vetch vs. hairy vetch though?
I see crown vetch everywhere the highway crews do grading.
I am poor, but yet I am rich, fore I till the soil......naw....... who am I fooling? I am just plain dirt poor!

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Post by dj » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:55 pm

cows don't like it after it makes seed/beans but will graze it till then IME

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Re: Hairy vetch and others.......

Post by SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:43 pm

Medic24 wrote:Ok, I have in fact decided to do the kudzo thing on several areas that will not be able to 'get-out' without being eaten by the cattle, but , was also wondering...who has experience with hairy vetch? Tough to grow? need inoculation of any sort?

The problem here is this.... very poor, and acidic soils in most of the pastures, so much so that the soil reports call for up to 4 tons of lime per acre, and unlike most places were lime is fairly cheap, we can only get it in bagged form, over $85.00 a ton, and the other issue is that there are few areas that it can be spead by machine, most areas will require a hand job.

so, I am grasping for plants that can tolerate this poor soil and give better then average returns as far as forage values......

any other suggestions? :cboy:


:shock: :shock: Wow! Sorry for your misfortune, I did not realize that there was anyone with sorrier ground than I have! I have to put out 2 tons per acre,but it is ONLY $35.00 a ton spread,and we have a bulk distributor.Might be cheaper to haul in topsoil..... :idea: ;-) :cboy: :shock:
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Post by Bama » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:18 pm

I once had a soil sample ran. It called for 5 tons of lime per acre. It was on some ground that I had removed when I dug my basement for my house. When I went to pick up the results everone asked "where did that come from" I have nearly gotten it back in shape but 8 years later I still have a small spot where nothing will grow, even weeds.
Culling solves 75% of your problems.

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Post by SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:22 pm

Seriously, I would advise an acid soil tolerant grass or legume like maybe legend lespedeza .... ;-) :cboy:
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Post by Sugar Creek » Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:04 pm

Hairy Vetch grows well here and needs no innoculation. This is a purple bloom viney legume that volunteers along county roads. It is not the pink bloomed crown vetch the highway department plants along major roads. Broadcast in early fall much like you would small grain. It is good for your ground but only supplies much grazing in early spring. Its viney habit makes it hard to cut for hay. Wheat will hold it up off the ground.

Why not sow some wheat and vetch in early September: then sow your Legend Lezpedeza in March right on top of it. Both the vetch and lezpedeza are annuals but reseed themselves here if you do not graze them too hard. You could get some quality grazing in the spring from the vetch and late summer from the lezpedeza while you improve your land.

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Post by Chuckie » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:21 am

Medic, I do believe you are right on the Crown Vetch. But I cannot find an article that gives enough info that the two can be compared.

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Post by Medic24 » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:56 pm

Thanks for the advice to all, I am taking my own advice and reporting my follow-up.
I will in fact take this information to our county agent and see what he says........I do know he made a sick looking face when I mentioned the intentional planting of kudzo.....lol. :cboy:
I am poor, but yet I am rich, fore I till the soil......naw....... who am I fooling? I am just plain dirt poor!

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Post by Beefy » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:15 am

cattle will actually kill the kudzu if you dont let it have a rest. they will keep clipping it off and deplete whats in the roots. also another thing to take into consideration is they have developed something that kills kudzu now. its like a virus or something like that i think...might want to look into that before you plant any. i dont recommend planting kudzu.
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Post by Larry Sansom » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:58 am

SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE wrote:Seriously, I would advise an acid soil tolerant grass or legume like maybe legend lespedeza .... ;-) :cboy:
I agree on this one recommendation - Legend is an annual you need to manage - but can reproduce if handled right. I am planting some next winter on an area where we clear cut some trees on a fairly poor, thin soil that needed 3 ton of lime - and will be hard to manage in future as you mentioned your ground. Found out it needs to be planted with another grass for best results - so old reliable KY 31 will be used - that will grow on anything. If you want to spend some $$ - might even consider birdsfoot trefoil. Don't have experience with this one - but should do well on low fertility and acid soils.
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