Hairy Vetch is one of the best winter hardy nitrogen producers used as a cover crop. Planted in the fall, it will grow slowly before going dormant over the winter. As temperatures rise in early spring, it will regrow vigorously, creating quite a bit of biomass with the potential to fix upwards of 160+ lb. of nitrogen if allowed to grow until full bloom. This is a great cover crop for producers growing a cash crop that requires alot of nitrogen. Hairy vetch does even better when mixed with a winter hardy grain such as cereal rye that it can use as a trellis to grow up, allowing it more access to sunlight for better growth. The addition of cereal rye also creates a higher biomass cover crop which is great for increasing soil organic matter and carbon levels. Hairy vetch is also a great candidate for rolling down with a crimper as a method of termination if allowed to grow to 50% bloom.
Drilled seeding rate: 20lb/acre