• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Description
 Uses
 Planting
 Fertilization
 Grazing and harvesting
 Seed production
 Diseases
 Weed control
 Production recommendations for...
 Acknowledgement
 References
 Back Cover






Group Title: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station circular S-318
Title: Hairy indigo
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055246/00001
 Material Information
Title: Hairy indigo a summer legume for Florida
Series Title: Circular Agricultural Experiment Stations, University of Florida
Physical Description: 11 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Baltensperger, David Dwight, 1953-
Publisher: Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla.
Publication Date: 1985
 Subjects
Subject: Legumes -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Forage plants -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Green manure crops -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 11.
Statement of Responsibility: D.D. Baltensperger ... et al..
General Note: "April 1985."
Funding: Circular (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055246
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000575316
oclc - 14225297
notis - ADA2727

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Description
        Page 1
    Uses
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Planting
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Fertilization
        Page 7
    Grazing and harvesting
        Page 7
    Seed production
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Diseases
        Page 10
    Weed control
        Page 10
    Production recommendations for Florida
        Page 10
    Acknowledgement
        Page 11
    References
        Page 11
    Back Cover
        Page 12
Full Text

April 1985


HAIRY INDIGO

A Summer Legume for Florida

D.D. Baltensperger, E.C. French, G.M. Prine,
O.C. Ruelke, and K.H. Quesenberry


Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
F A. Wood, Dean for Research


Circular S-318













HAIRY INDIGO
A Summer Legume for Florida

D. D. Baltensperger, E. C. French, G. M. Prine,
O. C. Ruelke, and K. H. Quesenberry



















AUTHORS
Dr. Baltensperger and Dr. French are Assistant Professors, Dr. Prine and
Dr. Ruelke are Professors, and Dr. Quesenberry is Associate Professor, all in
the Department of Agronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.













CONTENTS
Page
Introduction .................................................... 1

Description ............. .... ................. ................ 1
Uses ............................................................. 1

Planting ............................................. 5
Fertilization ...................................................... 7

Grazing and Harvesting .......................................... 7
Seed Production ................................... ........... 8

Diseases ...................................................... 10
W eed Control ............... ............................ 10

Production Recommendations for Florida ........................... 10

Acknowledgements .............................. .............. 11
References ....................................................... 11











INTRODUCTION
Hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta L.), a leguminous plant, is a na-
tive of tropical Africa and Asia. It is moderately resistant to root-knot
nematode, is a good seed producer, volunteers well, is nontoxic to
livestock, and is one of the few annual warm-season legumes that is
well suited to Florida conditions. It was introduced into the United
States by the U. S. Department of Agriculture for use as a forage and
cover crop, first in 1908 and again in 1914 and 1916. From these
introductions, a type called the 'Late' strain was developed, which
was adapted to central and south Florida. A short season strain,
called the 'Early' strain, was developed from introductions obtained
in 1943, and extended the limit of adaptation northward into Georgia
and other southern states. It produces seed from three to four weeks
earlier than the later strain. However, more forage production is
obtained from the late strain. Other intermediate types appear to
have developed over the years, probably from random crosses of the
two original types, and all are now marketed as common hairy
indigo.

DESCRIPTION
Hairy indigo is a summer annual legume that is sensitive to cold,
and is killed by the first hard frost. The plants grow from 4 to 7 feet
tall and can branch to form a canopy 5 to 7 feet in diameter when
space is available. When seeded heavily, it grows erect with few
lower branches and with medium to fine stems that are covered with
short, bristle-like hairs. The stems become woody as the plant ma-
tures. The leaves are pinnately compound (Figure 1), with five to
seven leaflets. The leaflets are also covered with short, bristle-like
hairs. The flowers are salmon-colored and are arranged in dense,
elongated racemes. The small cube-like seeds are crowded into rec-
tangular pods.
There are about 200,000 seeds in a pound (0.45 kg). A bushel
weighs about 55 pounds (25 kg). Indigo seed vary between 30 and 70
percent hard seed. These hard seed do not germinate in the same year
they are produced. However, total germination approaches 100%
once dormancy is broken insuring a good volunteer crop in subse-
quent years.

USES
Farmers have differing opinions as to the benefit of hairy indigo.
Some feel it is a weed that competes with crops and creates cultural











INTRODUCTION
Hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta L.), a leguminous plant, is a na-
tive of tropical Africa and Asia. It is moderately resistant to root-knot
nematode, is a good seed producer, volunteers well, is nontoxic to
livestock, and is one of the few annual warm-season legumes that is
well suited to Florida conditions. It was introduced into the United
States by the U. S. Department of Agriculture for use as a forage and
cover crop, first in 1908 and again in 1914 and 1916. From these
introductions, a type called the 'Late' strain was developed, which
was adapted to central and south Florida. A short season strain,
called the 'Early' strain, was developed from introductions obtained
in 1943, and extended the limit of adaptation northward into Georgia
and other southern states. It produces seed from three to four weeks
earlier than the later strain. However, more forage production is
obtained from the late strain. Other intermediate types appear to
have developed over the years, probably from random crosses of the
two original types, and all are now marketed as common hairy
indigo.

DESCRIPTION
Hairy indigo is a summer annual legume that is sensitive to cold,
and is killed by the first hard frost. The plants grow from 4 to 7 feet
tall and can branch to form a canopy 5 to 7 feet in diameter when
space is available. When seeded heavily, it grows erect with few
lower branches and with medium to fine stems that are covered with
short, bristle-like hairs. The stems become woody as the plant ma-
tures. The leaves are pinnately compound (Figure 1), with five to
seven leaflets. The leaflets are also covered with short, bristle-like
hairs. The flowers are salmon-colored and are arranged in dense,
elongated racemes. The small cube-like seeds are crowded into rec-
tangular pods.
There are about 200,000 seeds in a pound (0.45 kg). A bushel
weighs about 55 pounds (25 kg). Indigo seed vary between 30 and 70
percent hard seed. These hard seed do not germinate in the same year
they are produced. However, total germination approaches 100%
once dormancy is broken insuring a good volunteer crop in subse-
quent years.

USES
Farmers have differing opinions as to the benefit of hairy indigo.
Some feel it is a weed that competes with crops and creates cultural











INTRODUCTION
Hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta L.), a leguminous plant, is a na-
tive of tropical Africa and Asia. It is moderately resistant to root-knot
nematode, is a good seed producer, volunteers well, is nontoxic to
livestock, and is one of the few annual warm-season legumes that is
well suited to Florida conditions. It was introduced into the United
States by the U. S. Department of Agriculture for use as a forage and
cover crop, first in 1908 and again in 1914 and 1916. From these
introductions, a type called the 'Late' strain was developed, which
was adapted to central and south Florida. A short season strain,
called the 'Early' strain, was developed from introductions obtained
in 1943, and extended the limit of adaptation northward into Georgia
and other southern states. It produces seed from three to four weeks
earlier than the later strain. However, more forage production is
obtained from the late strain. Other intermediate types appear to
have developed over the years, probably from random crosses of the
two original types, and all are now marketed as common hairy
indigo.

DESCRIPTION
Hairy indigo is a summer annual legume that is sensitive to cold,
and is killed by the first hard frost. The plants grow from 4 to 7 feet
tall and can branch to form a canopy 5 to 7 feet in diameter when
space is available. When seeded heavily, it grows erect with few
lower branches and with medium to fine stems that are covered with
short, bristle-like hairs. The stems become woody as the plant ma-
tures. The leaves are pinnately compound (Figure 1), with five to
seven leaflets. The leaflets are also covered with short, bristle-like
hairs. The flowers are salmon-colored and are arranged in dense,
elongated racemes. The small cube-like seeds are crowded into rec-
tangular pods.
There are about 200,000 seeds in a pound (0.45 kg). A bushel
weighs about 55 pounds (25 kg). Indigo seed vary between 30 and 70
percent hard seed. These hard seed do not germinate in the same year
they are produced. However, total germination approaches 100%
once dormancy is broken insuring a good volunteer crop in subse-
quent years.

USES
Farmers have differing opinions as to the benefit of hairy indigo.
Some feel it is a weed that competes with crops and creates cultural



























































Figure 1. Drawing of leaves, stems, flowers, and seedpods of a hairy indigo
plant.








and harvesting problems. Others use it as a green manure or as hay
silage, or stockpile it for winter feed, but it is primarily used for
grazing. For these farmers it provides a crop which requires little
care or capital input with a relatively high return in quality forage
and eventual gains in animal weight. Many producers manage hairy
indigo to achieve a natural, annual reseeding stand on dry, infertile,
deep sandy soils present in Florida.
Hairy indigo is an excellent green manure or cover crop. Under
average conditions, Norris and Lawrence (1962) report that it will
produce from 5 to 10 tons per acre of green-chop organic matter. This
will contain 90 to 130 pounds of nitrogen per acre. More than 12,000
lbs/acre (13,000 kg/ha) of hairy indigo dry matter containing over 200
pounds of nitrogen per acre have been produced (Table 1).
Hairy indigo makes an excellent cover crop. It can be grazed or cut
for hay or silage (Norris and Lawrence, 1962; Kalmbacher et al. 1980;
Ritchey 1946; Wing and Becker, 1963). Cattle have made satisfactory
gains when grazing it (Hodges et al., 1977). Cattlemen have reported
that indigo haylage is a high-quality feed. The North Florida Hol-
stein Dairy (NFHD) near Bell, Florida, has used large quantities of
hairy indigo in its dairy operation. Random samples from various
fields show that the dairy's hairy indigo haylage is averaging greater
than 13% crude protein on a dry matter basis. In the NFHD opera-
tion, hairy indigo haylage is usually swathed after reaching a height
of 2 to 4 feet. The haylage is allowed to dry to around 50% dry matter
before chopping and placement in plastic bags. Palatability is im-
proved by predrying, according to the NFHD manager, Danny
Stephans. Little information is available on the value of recently
developed preservatives or fermentation enhancers. However, Wing
and Becker (1963) report that preservatives are needed to produce
palatable hairy indigo silage.
Properly managed hairy indigo is a desirable livestock feed be-
cause of its high protein and digestibility. Table 2 contains values for
protein, in vitro organic matter digestibility, and certain mineral
elements at different stages of growth from work done by Kalm-
bacher and others (1980 and 1981). These values are lower for P and
Ca and higher for K than previously reported work by Bledsoe (Wal-
lace 1957). Mineral levels in both reports would be adequate for most
classes of livestock.
The deep rooted nature of hairy indigo permits the plant to extract
nutrients which have moved down through the soil profile. These
same nutrients become available for animal use in hay or green
forage. The cycling of nutrients within a grass-hairy indigo associa-
tion makes this combination of pasture plants an efficient user of the
available plant nutrients. In a recent trial, limpograss (Hemarthria
















Table 1. Hairy indigo dry matter yield, nitrogen content, and nitrogen yield compared with other tropical legumes grown on
Arredondo fine sand over the three-year period, 1979 to 1981, at Gainesville, Florida.
Legume Dry Matter Yield Nitrogen Content Nitrogen Yield
---------------kg/ha ----------- ------------------ % --------- ------- -------------kg/ha t ---------------
Hairy indigo 13,000 a* 1.8 d 220 ab
Norman pigeonpea 13,300 a 1.9 cd 250 a
Showy crotalaria 10,200 bc 1.6 de 170 c
Slenderleaf crotalaria 14,400 a 1.9 cd 270 a
Jointvetch 10,000 bc 1.8 d 170 bc
Jupiter soybean 8,400 c 2.3 bc 190 bc
Velvetbean 5,900 d 2.4 b 140 c
AlycecloverT 1,200 e 1.3 ef 20 d
Source: Data in this table were excerpted from A.R. Soffes, 1981, Legume Cover Crops Selected for High Nitrogen Yields and their Effect on
Plant-parasitic Nematodes, M.S. Thesis, Agronomy Department, University of Florida, 99 p.; and C. K. Reddi, 1982, Nitrogen Fixation and
Nematode Resistance of 13 Tropical legumes, Ph.D. Dissertation, Agronomy Department, University of Florida, 90 p.
*Means in the same column not followed by the same letter are significantly different (P 0.05) according to Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
tKg/ha multiplied by 0.89 equals lbs/acre.
SYield of this crops was low because of severe damage by root-knot nematodes.








Table 2. Chemical analysis of hairy indigo plants.
Growth Crude
Stage IVOMD Protein P Mg K Ca
---------------------------------------- -- --- ---------- ---
12 inches 59 22 0.31 0.25 2.1 1.5
24 inches 56 20 0.31 0.25 1.7 1.4
36 inches 51 15 0.31 0.25 1.7 0.9
Source: Data extracted from work by Kalmbacher and others, 1980 and 1981.
tTo convert inches to centimeters, multiply by 2.5.


altissima [Poir] Stapf and C.E. Hubb) overseeded with hairy indigo
had increased total harvestable nitrogen (Table 3). Thus more avail-
able protein for animal consumption was present with this system
than with limpograss grown by itself.

PLANTING
Hairy indigo is adapted to a wide variety of well-drained soils but
does not do well on poorly-drained soils. It is especially well adapted
to the dry, sandy soils. Hairy indigo may be seeded any time from
mid-March to mid-June. Best results may be expected when hairy
indigo is seeded in early spring to a depth of 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Late
seedings make poor growth and produce lower quality seed.
Normally it is not necessary to inoculate seed before planting
because nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with hairy indigo occur
naturally in soil. Seed should be inoculated with cowpea-type rhizo-
bium if grown on newly cleared land or in an area where inoculation
problems have been experienced on peanuts or other legumes. A
cultipacker seeder, a grain drill, or the broadcast-disk method can be
used when planting into a prepared seedbed. Five to 10 pounds of seed
per acre (6 to 12 kg/ha) should be used when drilling and 8 to 15
pounds (9 to 17 kg/ha) when sowing broadcast. When hairy indigo is
grown specifically for seed production, a lower plant population, that
is, a 5 to 10 pounds per acre (6 to 12 kg/ha) seed rate, results in higher
seed production. An increased volunteer crop of hairy indigo will
result from disturbing old hairy indigo fields in April or May. Estab-
lished permanent grass pasture can be overseeded in early spring
using a no-till drill (Kalmbacher et al., 1977) or the more common
method of broadcast followed by a disk-harrow. Pure seed or seed
mixed with bulk-applied fertilizer may be broadcast over an estab-
lished pasture without any follow-up disking when the grass is kept
short. The seed is incorporated by animal movement or the action of
rain over time. The natural reseeding of a pasture on an annual basis
is successful for the same reasons. When a pasture is established for
















Table 3. Dry matter yield, percent legume, percent nitrogen and nitrogen yield of limpograss overseeded with four summer
legumes under two harvest managements at the Beef Research Unit, Gainesville, Florida, 1982.


Legume and Limpograss Legume and Limpograss Legume and Limpograss
Dry matter yield Percent Legume Percent N N yield
8/27 + 10/21 vs. 10/21 8/27 + 10/21 vs. 10/21 8/27 + 10/21 vs. 10/21 8/27 + 10/21 vs. 10/21


Legume


-------------kg/hat----------------------------% ------------- ----------------% ------------------------kg/ha -------------
Common
hairy indigo 3300 a* 600 a 9500 a 75 a 15 b 95 a 1.3 a 1.2 a 1.3 a 40 a 10 a 120 a
Common
jointvetch 2700 b 900 a 5600 b 50 b 40 a 75 b 1.0 b 1.3 a 1.1 b 25 b 10 a 60 b
Common
alyceclover 2100 c 700 a 3500 c 30 c 30 ab 50 c 0.8 c 1.2 a 0.8 c 15 bc 10 a 30 c
Carpon
desmodium 1900 c 600 a 2800 c 0 c 0 b 0 d 0.6 d 0.9 b 0.6 d 10 c 5 b 15 d
*Numbers within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different atP < 0.05 according to the Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
tKg/ha multiplied by 0.89 equals lbs/acre.








the first time, this system requires a high seeding rate of 15 pounds
per acre to produce a satisfactory first year stand. Overseeding has
been particularly successful in bahiagrass pastures.
Hairy indigo may be sown into corn and other spring crops to
provide a cover crop and/or post-corn harvest green manure or forage
crop. Seed should be sown just before the last cultivation, but seed not
covered during cultivation will be covered by rains. This system was
used before the widespread use of commercial fertilizer and herbi-
cides, and was important in maintaining soil nutrient and organic
reserve. Low corn populations are necessary because shade from a
high population of corn will slow the development of the understory
crop of hairy indigo and prevent the normal production of forage and
seed.

FERTILIZATION
Hairy indigo does not need to be fertilized if it is grown on fertile
land or if it is planted following a fertilized row or vegetable crop.
Being a legume, inoculated hairy indigo fixes its own nitrogen. The
decision to apply or not apply potassium, phosphorous, or other plant
nutrients and at what rate should be based on soil tests, the produc-
er's knowledge of the fertility of his field, and his production objec-
tives. Production is usually enhanced by addition of 30 and 60 pounds
per acre (34 and 68 kg/ha) of P205 and K20, respectively.

GRAZING AND HARVESTING
Cattle do not graze this plant readily at first, especially if other
forage is available, but consumption is good after adaptation. If
rotational grazing begins before the stems become woody, two or
possibly three grazing periods can be achieved. A bahiagrass pasture
overseeded with hairy indigo must be closely grazed up to June 1 or
until the hairy indigo germinates and reaches 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8
cm). Animals must be removed at this time to allow hairy indigo to
attain a height of 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) before initiating
grazing. No research data are available on the carrying capacity of
hairy indigo, but cattlemen have reported excellent weight gains by
animals grazed on hairy indigo.
Even calves can develop a taste for hairy indigo, as shown in Table
4. The Brahman and Angus calves in this study gained 20% more per
day when allowed "creep grazing" access to hairy indigo compared
with no creep grazing. The concept of creep grazing is based on the
fact that nutritional requirements (feed quality) of suckling calves
are much higher than those of cows. The perennial grass pastures of
Florida are generally adequate for the maintenance of the pregnant-
lactating beef cow, but are low to marginal for rapidly growing








the first time, this system requires a high seeding rate of 15 pounds
per acre to produce a satisfactory first year stand. Overseeding has
been particularly successful in bahiagrass pastures.
Hairy indigo may be sown into corn and other spring crops to
provide a cover crop and/or post-corn harvest green manure or forage
crop. Seed should be sown just before the last cultivation, but seed not
covered during cultivation will be covered by rains. This system was
used before the widespread use of commercial fertilizer and herbi-
cides, and was important in maintaining soil nutrient and organic
reserve. Low corn populations are necessary because shade from a
high population of corn will slow the development of the understory
crop of hairy indigo and prevent the normal production of forage and
seed.

FERTILIZATION
Hairy indigo does not need to be fertilized if it is grown on fertile
land or if it is planted following a fertilized row or vegetable crop.
Being a legume, inoculated hairy indigo fixes its own nitrogen. The
decision to apply or not apply potassium, phosphorous, or other plant
nutrients and at what rate should be based on soil tests, the produc-
er's knowledge of the fertility of his field, and his production objec-
tives. Production is usually enhanced by addition of 30 and 60 pounds
per acre (34 and 68 kg/ha) of P205 and K20, respectively.

GRAZING AND HARVESTING
Cattle do not graze this plant readily at first, especially if other
forage is available, but consumption is good after adaptation. If
rotational grazing begins before the stems become woody, two or
possibly three grazing periods can be achieved. A bahiagrass pasture
overseeded with hairy indigo must be closely grazed up to June 1 or
until the hairy indigo germinates and reaches 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8
cm). Animals must be removed at this time to allow hairy indigo to
attain a height of 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) before initiating
grazing. No research data are available on the carrying capacity of
hairy indigo, but cattlemen have reported excellent weight gains by
animals grazed on hairy indigo.
Even calves can develop a taste for hairy indigo, as shown in Table
4. The Brahman and Angus calves in this study gained 20% more per
day when allowed "creep grazing" access to hairy indigo compared
with no creep grazing. The concept of creep grazing is based on the
fact that nutritional requirements (feed quality) of suckling calves
are much higher than those of cows. The perennial grass pastures of
Florida are generally adequate for the maintenance of the pregnant-
lactating beef cow, but are low to marginal for rapidly growing









Table 4. Effect of creep grazing treatments on average daily gain of calves,
with mother cows on bahiagrass pastures, Pine Acres Research
Unit, Gainesville, Florida.
Creep Treatment Average Daily Gain
-------------lbs------------ ----------kg--------------
Aeschynomene 1.98 0.89
Tifleaf 1 millet 1.80 0.81
Hairy indigo 1.80 0.81
Alyceclover 1.70 0.77
Mixed ration 1.86 0.84
Control (no creep grazing) 1.50 0.68
Source: Data excerpted from 1979 Florida Beef Cattle Short Course Report by Dr. Bill
Ocumpaugh with credit to Dr. G. Dusi.
tMixed ration was a commercial supplement, Semco Universal', which included al-
falfa meal, dry rolled corn, soybean meal, ground screenings, dried citrus pulp, urea,
oats, cottonseed hulls, pure sulphur, and wheat bran.


calves. The possibility of supplementing these calves by allowing
them creep grazing access to hairy indigo and other summer legumes
is very promising.
When cattle graze hairy indigo during the summer rainy season,
they may develop sores on their feet and legs. The cause of this
ailment has not been determined, but it is believed that the hairs on
the stems of the plants irritate the wet skin of the cattle.
Hairy indigo can be cut for hay, haylage, or silage when the crop is
about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) high. Harvesting at this point, before
the crop flowers and before the stalks become woody, gives higher
quality forage. Kalmbacher and coworkers (1980) recommended har-
vesting when plants are 3 feet tall (90 cm) at a 3-inch (7.5-cm) stubble
height. Hay rolls produced from an associated stand of bahiagrass
and hairy indigo have less leaf shatter compared to hairy indigo
rolled alone. The grass serves to bind together the brittle leaves of
hairy indigo and create a tighter roll which sheds water better and
prevents leaf loss during rolling, transport, and storage.
SEED PRODUCTION
If a harvestable hairy indigo seed crop is desired, the cattle should
be removed from the pasture two weeks prior to flower initiation.
Seed should be combined as soon as it reaches maturity or soon after
the first killing frost, whichever comes first. In permanent pastures
when only enough seed is needed for a volunteer crop, the cattle need
not be removed during the late summer and fall period. Instead, the
grazing intensity should be reduced so that enough plants mature to
produce seed for the volunteer crop. In pastures where hairy indigo











.:-.:. ::... . .
. . .


i-


5
~ I








~ ,
:r





i

15: t r.



t


Figure 2. Cowpea witchweed growing on hairy indigo. This parasitic plant
has caused crop losses of hairy indigo in central Florida.



9


-.


i 1-I ,.


-' -.-








has dropped a good seed crop in prior years, a sufficient amount of
hard seed usually exists in the soil to achieve a good plant stand even
if the seed crop is a failure one year.
DISEASES
In general, hairy indigo is tolerant to insect injury and reasonably
resistant to disease. The plants are highly resistant to one species of
root-knot nematode (Meloidogynejavanica) and moderately resistant
to both M. arenaria and M. incognita (Taylor et al, 1985). Nematode
reproduction (juvenile + eggs) was 10-fold less on hairy indigo than
alyceclover. Hairy indigo is susceptible to Cylindrocladium crotala-
ria, but this disease has seldom been reported as a serious problem on
hairy indigo in Florida.
WEED CONTROL
Weeds can frequently be a problem during the establishment stage
of a hairy indigo crop to be used for hay or silage. Effective pre- and
postemergence control of many of these weeds is now or soon will be
possible (check current EPA labels). Benefin (Balan) has been effec-
tive as a preemergence herbicide, while Bentazon (Basagran) and
2,4-DB have been effective postemergence herbicides. The herbicide
2,4-DB is especially useful to control volunteer watermelons. Several
postemergence grass herbicides, including Fusilade and Poast,
may soon be labeled for grass weed control in hairy indigo stands.
Cowpea witchweed (Striga gesneroides (Willd.) Vatke) has been
found in Florida growing as a parasite on hairy indigo and cowpeas
(Figure 2) (Langdon 1979). The roots of witchweed are attached to the
roots of the living hairy indigo from which the parasite gets it nutri-
tion. Witchweed could become a major problem, and care should be
taken to identify it early so that nonhost crops can be grown to control
it.
Hairy indigo may at times be considered a weed in other crops.
Hairy indigo can readily be controlled in peanuts and soybeans with
acifluorfen (Blazer) and in corn with atrazine and 2,4-D.
PRODUCTION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLORIDA
1. Plant on well-drained soils between March 15 and June 15.
2. Graze grass as close as possible (less than 3 inches) if planting in
perennial grass sod.
3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or broadcast 10 to 15 pounds
per acre with a prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre, broad-
cast in established pasture. Plant seed no more than /2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil tests, the producer's
knowledge of his field and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.








has dropped a good seed crop in prior years, a sufficient amount of
hard seed usually exists in the soil to achieve a good plant stand even
if the seed crop is a failure one year.
DISEASES
In general, hairy indigo is tolerant to insect injury and reasonably
resistant to disease. The plants are highly resistant to one species of
root-knot nematode (Meloidogynejavanica) and moderately resistant
to both M. arenaria and M. incognita (Taylor et al, 1985). Nematode
reproduction (juvenile + eggs) was 10-fold less on hairy indigo than
alyceclover. Hairy indigo is susceptible to Cylindrocladium crotala-
ria, but this disease has seldom been reported as a serious problem on
hairy indigo in Florida.
WEED CONTROL
Weeds can frequently be a problem during the establishment stage
of a hairy indigo crop to be used for hay or silage. Effective pre- and
postemergence control of many of these weeds is now or soon will be
possible (check current EPA labels). Benefin (Balan) has been effec-
tive as a preemergence herbicide, while Bentazon (Basagran) and
2,4-DB have been effective postemergence herbicides. The herbicide
2,4-DB is especially useful to control volunteer watermelons. Several
postemergence grass herbicides, including Fusilade and Poast,
may soon be labeled for grass weed control in hairy indigo stands.
Cowpea witchweed (Striga gesneroides (Willd.) Vatke) has been
found in Florida growing as a parasite on hairy indigo and cowpeas
(Figure 2) (Langdon 1979). The roots of witchweed are attached to the
roots of the living hairy indigo from which the parasite gets it nutri-
tion. Witchweed could become a major problem, and care should be
taken to identify it early so that nonhost crops can be grown to control
it.
Hairy indigo may at times be considered a weed in other crops.
Hairy indigo can readily be controlled in peanuts and soybeans with
acifluorfen (Blazer) and in corn with atrazine and 2,4-D.
PRODUCTION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLORIDA
1. Plant on well-drained soils between March 15 and June 15.
2. Graze grass as close as possible (less than 3 inches) if planting in
perennial grass sod.
3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or broadcast 10 to 15 pounds
per acre with a prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre, broad-
cast in established pasture. Plant seed no more than /2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil tests, the producer's
knowledge of his field and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.








has dropped a good seed crop in prior years, a sufficient amount of
hard seed usually exists in the soil to achieve a good plant stand even
if the seed crop is a failure one year.
DISEASES
In general, hairy indigo is tolerant to insect injury and reasonably
resistant to disease. The plants are highly resistant to one species of
root-knot nematode (Meloidogynejavanica) and moderately resistant
to both M. arenaria and M. incognita (Taylor et al, 1985). Nematode
reproduction (juvenile + eggs) was 10-fold less on hairy indigo than
alyceclover. Hairy indigo is susceptible to Cylindrocladium crotala-
ria, but this disease has seldom been reported as a serious problem on
hairy indigo in Florida.
WEED CONTROL
Weeds can frequently be a problem during the establishment stage
of a hairy indigo crop to be used for hay or silage. Effective pre- and
postemergence control of many of these weeds is now or soon will be
possible (check current EPA labels). Benefin (Balan) has been effec-
tive as a preemergence herbicide, while Bentazon (Basagran) and
2,4-DB have been effective postemergence herbicides. The herbicide
2,4-DB is especially useful to control volunteer watermelons. Several
postemergence grass herbicides, including Fusilade and Poast,
may soon be labeled for grass weed control in hairy indigo stands.
Cowpea witchweed (Striga gesneroides (Willd.) Vatke) has been
found in Florida growing as a parasite on hairy indigo and cowpeas
(Figure 2) (Langdon 1979). The roots of witchweed are attached to the
roots of the living hairy indigo from which the parasite gets it nutri-
tion. Witchweed could become a major problem, and care should be
taken to identify it early so that nonhost crops can be grown to control
it.
Hairy indigo may at times be considered a weed in other crops.
Hairy indigo can readily be controlled in peanuts and soybeans with
acifluorfen (Blazer) and in corn with atrazine and 2,4-D.
PRODUCTION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLORIDA
1. Plant on well-drained soils between March 15 and June 15.
2. Graze grass as close as possible (less than 3 inches) if planting in
perennial grass sod.
3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or broadcast 10 to 15 pounds
per acre with a prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre, broad-
cast in established pasture. Plant seed no more than /2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil tests, the producer's
knowledge of his field and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.









5. Lime to a target pH of 6.0.
6. Graze when the crop reaches 12 to 18 inches in height.
7. Cut for hay when the crop is 2 feet to 3 feet in height, leaving a
3-inch stubble.
8. Practice rotational grazing.
9. If you wish to obtain a harvestable seed crop, remove the cattle
two weeks prior to flower initiation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Major portions of Circular S-98 (1957) "Hairy Indigo, a Summer Legume
for Florida," by Alvin T. Wallace, were used in the preparation of this
manuscript. Figure 2 was provided by Dr. Everett Nickerson, Division of
Plant Industry, State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

REFERENCES
Hodges, E. M., F. M. Peacock, H. L. Chapman, Jr., and F. G. Martin. 1977.
Grazing studies with Pensacola bahiagrass and warm season annual
legumes. Soil and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 36:173-175.
Kalmbacher, R. S., E. M. Hodges, and F. G. Martin. 1980. Effect of plant
height and cutting height on yield and quality of Indigofera hirsuta.
Tropical Grasslands 14:14-18.
Kalmbacher, R. S., P. Mislevy, and F. G. Martin. 1977. Establishment of
three legumes in bahiagrass sod using different herbicides and seeders.
Soil and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 37:24-29.
Kalmbacher, R. S., P. Mislevy, and F. G. Martin. 1981. Minerals in the forage
of American jointvetch and hairy indigo as affected by harvest height. Soil
and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 40:124-127.
Landgon, K. R. 1979. Cowpea witchweed, Striga gesneroides, a newly dis-
covered root-parasitic weed introduced in Florida. Nematology Circular
No. 48. Fla. Dept. Agric. and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Indus-
try. 2 p.
Norris, R. E., and F. P. Lawrence. 1962. Hairy indigo as a cover crop in
Florida citrus. University of Fla. Agric. Ext. Serv. Circular 227. 10 p.
Ritchey, G. E. 1946. Hairy indigo, a legume for Florida. University of Fla.
Agric. Exp. Sta. Press Bulletin 624. 4 p.
Taylor, S. G., D. D. Baltensperger, and R. A. Dunn. 1985. Interactions
between six warm-season legumes and three species of root-knot nema-
todes. J. of Nematology. (Submitted).
Wallace, A. T. 1957. Hairy indigo, a summer legume for Florida. University
of Fla. Agric. Exp. Sta. Circular S-98. 7 p.
Wing, J. M. and R. B. Becker. 1963. Nutrient intake of cows from silages
made from typical Florida forages. University of Florida Agric. Exp. Sta.
Technical Bulletin 655. 19 p.









5. Lime to a target pH of 6.0.
6. Graze when the crop reaches 12 to 18 inches in height.
7. Cut for hay when the crop is 2 feet to 3 feet in height, leaving a
3-inch stubble.
8. Practice rotational grazing.
9. If you wish to obtain a harvestable seed crop, remove the cattle
two weeks prior to flower initiation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Major portions of Circular S-98 (1957) "Hairy Indigo, a Summer Legume
for Florida," by Alvin T. Wallace, were used in the preparation of this
manuscript. Figure 2 was provided by Dr. Everett Nickerson, Division of
Plant Industry, State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

REFERENCES
Hodges, E. M., F. M. Peacock, H. L. Chapman, Jr., and F. G. Martin. 1977.
Grazing studies with Pensacola bahiagrass and warm season annual
legumes. Soil and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 36:173-175.
Kalmbacher, R. S., E. M. Hodges, and F. G. Martin. 1980. Effect of plant
height and cutting height on yield and quality of Indigofera hirsuta.
Tropical Grasslands 14:14-18.
Kalmbacher, R. S., P. Mislevy, and F. G. Martin. 1977. Establishment of
three legumes in bahiagrass sod using different herbicides and seeders.
Soil and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 37:24-29.
Kalmbacher, R. S., P. Mislevy, and F. G. Martin. 1981. Minerals in the forage
of American jointvetch and hairy indigo as affected by harvest height. Soil
and Crop Sci. Soc. of Florida 40:124-127.
Landgon, K. R. 1979. Cowpea witchweed, Striga gesneroides, a newly dis-
covered root-parasitic weed introduced in Florida. Nematology Circular
No. 48. Fla. Dept. Agric. and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Indus-
try. 2 p.
Norris, R. E., and F. P. Lawrence. 1962. Hairy indigo as a cover crop in
Florida citrus. University of Fla. Agric. Ext. Serv. Circular 227. 10 p.
Ritchey, G. E. 1946. Hairy indigo, a legume for Florida. University of Fla.
Agric. Exp. Sta. Press Bulletin 624. 4 p.
Taylor, S. G., D. D. Baltensperger, and R. A. Dunn. 1985. Interactions
between six warm-season legumes and three species of root-knot nema-
todes. J. of Nematology. (Submitted).
Wallace, A. T. 1957. Hairy indigo, a summer legume for Florida. University
of Fla. Agric. Exp. Sta. Circular S-98. 7 p.
Wing, J. M. and R. B. Becker. 1963. Nutrient intake of cows from silages
made from typical Florida forages. University of Florida Agric. Exp. Sta.
Technical Bulletin 655. 19 p.








































This public document was published at an annual cost of $2250
or a cost of 304 per copy to provide information on hairy
indigo, a summer legume adapted to Florida.

All programs and related activities sponsored or assisted by the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Stations are open to all persons regardless of race,
color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap.



ISSN 0734-8452


I UNIVERSITY OF FL




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs