U. S. 1 I.:i,.\ "I'IN" (). ,\( ;OIFIU Il'1.
ItI REAL'" I'I.ANT IN ll ISTI VY r'r l.,r Nu I,,2
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THE IPRO1)UCTION O1' II. I iY VE'TU'II SI,1,D.
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BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY.
Chief/ of Bureau, BEVERLY T. GALLOWAY.
Assistant Cii' (ol Bureau, WUILLIAM A. TAYLOR.
Editor, J. E. ROCKWELL.
Chiel Clerk, JAMES E. JONES.
THE PRODUCTION OF I1AIR"\ VETCHI SEED.
Dunni, thie past seven % ,i.r- the culture 4f hairy vetchI has Itii re'i,-ed
in tiht I'nit, to St- t, :s at least tenfold. iTh1 crop is c)0nst nmtly .'rII inl,
in favor in the .nill, rirn States fir 1 wint ,r cover and hay. In the
North it i. b,,iii. used more and more
other soils where red clover tno 1,ii- _'1. -P. satisf4actor ret urns.
This rapid increase has been in spite of the fact that t ie seed has
been relati\elv costly, the farmer rarely ]i ni II I:,'-r- it as low as 5,
a bushel, while in the l:i-i three years thIe seed lis (ommanded
S6 to $9 a bushel. '['l, increase in price see ms to he due main ly to
the increased American ihnIMliil. as the actual supply 'N,\r\ II ill
Europe i; not hIr.'re and thus far but little I as been lpro(hiced in the
United StNt,,.. The liil,,-r prices will doul ss tend to st simulate
the growing ,if this ,cril in I':urope. but it can be protitably ilmri,,,
in manv i. rts of this countryV. I 'ndoubtedly it w ill he economical
fr A me ,iran farmers to i,,w the hairy vetch seed needed locally,
and any miurplus can always be sold at i..' .l. pri, In -...d vetch-
seed 4,c1iiin.s a 1r,,4p of 5 )ushels of hairy vetcli and _'r bushels of
rye til tihe acre can reasonably be ,\Fi'led. mand tender favorable
condiinii- 10 to 12 lmiil,-. of hairy vetch seed to the acre canI be
prown EIveii at .. or 1 1 a bushel such crops are very profitable,
and at thi-; price the demand for the seed would certainly increase
enhirmtmu-ilv. In view of this iiui'ria-ili,. demand, Ameiican farmerS
are urged to "ri'm, seed ,f this ,rI,. at least for their local use, and
also where the conditions prove very favorable to supply the ,_-im ril
market. Santi.fi ti'lry machines are now available to separate hairy
vetch seed frnom r,'e
SOURCES OF SEED.
At present practically all the seed used in this country is imported
from Ru!.ii and Germany. Table I, .I' iri: the quantity of seed
imported each li.,iil year ended June .111 since 1905. i-,r.ther with
the import prices, is ,ascd on the ritr, of customhouse samples.
it will he noted that the quantity of seed imported h1ls increa-s.ed
very rapidly, especially since I,.9ii.
4 PRODUCTION OF HAIRY VETCH SEED.
TABLE I.-Hairy relt, seed imporlalion-s.
Fiscal year. Quinity Ayerage Quantity A.erqge
F year. prou per Fiscal year. poundss. price per
porne r' pound
9f'") ...................... 7 '4" 4. 7il .................... S9,1 -4 1) 1i 059
13mi.. .................... 1. 7 ',4 .11i, 1141 ............. ..... i V,. 47 .087
.IHT .... .. . .. .... 2I 1l, II111 .ll4'4 1'11 . ............... 1.1. 47.11110 M45
19 l1 . ... . ........ . 21." I t IrJ14 ..... .... ... . 2 I l.Im l 049
19 ..... . ... .. .. '4 i Iu l I. Il 14 lo NM a *.i.
I1 '4 11 ....... ... '.542.944 1141 l 15 .. .. . .. ..... 4 .1. 73h .061
The average price is considerably lower than the average price for
a good quality of seed, because in these lots are included many which
are low in quality, both on account of adulteration and low vitality.
EUROPEAN METHODS OF GROWING HAIRY VETCH SEED.
In the Baltic Provinces of Russia hairy vetch occurs as a more or
less persistent weed in grain fields, and practically all of the supply
of the seed from that region is secured by separation from the rye
In Prussia, especially in the provinces of East and West Prussia
and Pomerania, there is extensive production for seed, but in Ger-
many generally more hairy vetch is raised with rye for green fodder
than for seed. The rate of seeding used in Germany is considerably
heavier than that which has been found advisalble for seed purposes
in this country. The German Agricultural Society recommends
sowing 53 pounds of hairy vetch and 72 pounds of rye to the acre,
but the average rate of seeding is somewhat less, though the crop is
usually grown on light, sandy soil where a comparatively heavy
seeding is needed. Hairy vetch seed is universally sown with winter
rye and usually with the variety known as Johannesroggen, or
St. John's rye. This variety of rye is peculiar in that it can be sown
as early as June and at any time thereafter until the latter part of
September. It is a very free-stooling variety and makes a large leaf
growth close to the ground. This rye supplies excellent pasturage in
the fall, and the date of maturity is 10 to 15 day. later than common
SEPARATION OF HAIRY VETCH SEED FROM RYE.
As hairy vetch is usually sown in combination with rye it is not
necessary to separate the mixed seed as harvested when about one-
third of the mixture is vetch. Such mixed seed is far more economi-
cal to use than to pay the present high price for imported seed.
When a separation of the seeds is desirable it is easily and effect-
tively accomplished by the use of a spiral separator, known in Europe
as "Schneckentrieur," which requires no power, being operated by
gravity. This apparatus is covered by United States Letters Patent
No. 6279'i7(i, dtiltl July 4, 1 ''1' and is now h ,,.1111f:. lured for :Ile in
lte I, 'niti.I S.t nr -. The machines seen in lussia had a capaicitv of
5() tI 7. bushels a day.
A .itl ifiI'tI'rY separation of vetch seedI can aso be Iad ,\ I ise
Of 11 1l1 li-hbelt IIppiiri'n-.0 b1y Ieansli o1f wi which tie r `e or other cereal
s' I i, carried upI) and Iaway ov a ii i,. w' bile the vetch seed fils o ver
the I'll to the bottom. A number of firms of this mach ine are
p lenl ,ed. ilrin,'d Ic,'i.Il l I' Ir th se I IitioIn of bucki Iurn I from
covehr"- .red. A separation which is ~,!1. t ,ly ,..." for I I I r. iIII
mixed rye and vetch seed I'r sale lh I all van h'e ot1I ,itaied lt le4iii.,'
the nii\Cil seed runI over a seris of Y11 I, I td cioel eit at, at i .. i
an.le ui II a -I I .'l t distance .. .Irt so thit t le vetcli seed I ill run from
one 'ii.o Ir to another and the ry e '... A which dces nIoIt run sto I.v,
will dIro, ulnlr,.1i between the LoIirtls. "l ii l- c[ii easily lbe zi.,1ie 1,V
ano for home useannd io.,ii,. no poiwer to run. a- the Feed is
simply allowed to fall over a series of I, I".
GROWING HAIRY VETCH FOR SEED.
lir11'Y vetch will produce a i '.1 crop of seed in most states T]I
largest cri cn ,- have been --, ,. on tlie l'acilic -t. hut tliose Ii I l,.,,
in tih- N,,rtli.ril States are but little smaller. In the Soutlheri States
the evil crop seems to vary ._',.ily with lie season, but ..... ieis(
have I'cen obtained.
lairy vetch is a winter ;Ili!aii;ll beha' in. like winter wheat. If
planted in the -rli,.. it maiy produce a fev tlmosomsi the samne ..' ,1,i.1
but will make little or no seed until the f.ll,.li _, season. If planted
in the fail. it ripens its seed crop III. F, ll, i_. July. S .] i_' II .- il
is seld.lom advisable, and then only on t1lie Paci ie cos ,t hind in t lte arid
regin-. '\h en -I ,ri IN.1 sown. it is best to paIsture the crop theI first
season,. In the -E:i- iiII and Northern h i..t, -!,pi,, .''.,ii, sh'iould
never he practiced, as the pil,-; 11 seldom survive thIe ihumid heat of
Throutzh the lack of the proper nit] ,,_1'11-f,,i n-iI,,' ih ctI, i. 1.1.irv
vetch frequentvi Ily fnI, to produce a crop on land where it hIas not pre-
viously been gr-own. It is therefore :1 i-.. iblh whenever hairy vetchl
is seeded on land for the first time, to inoculate tilIe seed with a pure
culture of the itr'I,.i.n-f,,i ii ii_ bamin rria. or to inoculate the .. 1 il with
soil from a field where laiiry vetch is ,eiii: ..'I", .
The .revd may be sown from the middle of A .._'-t till November,
September lbein- thie best month. If sown aione, l, pounds of ).,,,
seed to tlie acre are siiuflicient. tlii,,.rli ii ;,,iinl- are li' I'i' 1itly used.
As a general prpic e. however, it is better to sow it in eonj unction
with a small-griiti crop i ,at. winter wl,.:,, or rye. Oat 1 are I'fl.'l
used in the South, but in tlie N,,rth wheat or r ye must be used. Rv,
is the favorite. but if intended for lIn, the wheat combination is more
'uiii I I [I \' M I N II \III \ I .LIC H -.I 1. .
PRODUCTION OF HAIRY VETCH SEED.
nutritious. In growing such mixtures for seed, enough grain is used
to make about two-thirds of a stand and 20 pounds of the vetch seed
are added. Such a mixed crop is easily cut with a mower having a
swather attachment, or even with a binder. If more vetch is used
it is liable to lodge, especially in spots where the vetch is thick, and
the mowing is therefore rendered more difficult.
Where hairy vetch is planted alone, it nearly always becomes more
or less lodged, and should be mowed, if possible, against the direction
in which most of it is lying. After cutting the first swath, it should
be rolled upon the uncut vetch before cutting the second swath. The
two swaths should then be rolled out clear from the uncut vetch.
Sometimes three swaths are combined in this way. The cut vetch
should not be handled more than is necessary in curing, and care
should be taken in shocking to cover the pods as much as possible.
Hay caps are very desirable for this purpose. In thrashing pure
vetch it is sometimes desirable to have sharpened teeth on the con-
caves, as long vetch is inclined to wrap about the cylinder.
If hairy vetch is pastured rather late, the subsequent growth will
not be tall, but often is heavily set with pods. The same result can
be obtained by cutting the vetch early and feeding it green or putting
it into a silo. Such a second crop is much more easily mowed than
tall vetch, and in some instances excellent seed crops have been thus
Some farmers obtain their own supply of seed b)y cutting hairy vetch
for hay rather late, i. e., after some of the pods have ripened. Much
of this seed will rattle to the bottom of the mow, especially if a little
care is taken to shake each forkful as it is being used for feed. Such
late cutting reduces slightly the value of the hay, but the seed obtained
often jutifics the practice.
Hairy vetch ripens its pods over a period of two or three weeks.
The best crops are obtained when the first pods are fully ripe and the
upper pods well filled. The latter ripen in the shocks, and if carefully
handled comparatively few of the ripe pods shatter. It is best to cut
the crop early in the morning or on a cloudy day. In any event the
vetch, whether cut in bundles or otherwise, should be put into shocks
at once and left thus till thrashed. The most important rule is to
handle the cut crop rapidly and as little as possible.
An incidental advanthige to the use of locally grown hairy vetch
seed is its much better germinating quality. Old seed has a large
percentage of hard seeds, which lie in the ground a long time without
sprouting and which are practically valueless to the farmer. Fresh
samples collected in Europe in 1911 gave a uniformly high germina-
tion, only one testing below 91.5 per cent. Imported seed, which is
usually 1 year old, frequently shows a hard-seed content of 10 to 40
TABLE Iit.--lm showing the results of Anl rican rrnerimnents in groiring hairf ivlch ared
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8 PRODUCTION OF HAIRY VETCH SEED.
EXPERIMENTS IN GROWING HAIRY VETCH SEED IN AMERICA.
While hairy vetch for hay or green manure has long been grown
successfully in nearly all parts of the United States and Canada, ,.L
there has been relatively little investigation made of its seed produc- '
tion. Table II is a compilation of published American data in -
seed pruduction, together with unpublished results obtained by the 4
Department and its cooperators. i
These results show yields ranging from 3 to 15 bushels per acre,
with an average of 61 bushels for all the trials. Such a yield makes
a d<,id(edly profitable crop. Were vetch is grown alone the seed
yields are heavier, but this is largely counterbalanced by the diffi- ,
culty of harvesting, so that it is advisable as a rule to grow it in :
combination with rye.
Secretary of .lgriculIre.
WASI II-,TO D. C., August 7, 1912.
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