Cahaba Vetch was bred to be an excellent forage in the east and southern parts of the US during the winter. In the transition zone it has shown good winter hardiness. It is produced and marketed through Saddle Butte Ag. Cahaba vetch is a summer legume used to follow with wheat or bypass planting. Cahaba can fix Nitrogen, also is great for grazing or hay. Planting rate: 10-12 lbs/ac.

Hairy Vetch (also known as Winter Vetch) (Vicia villosa Roth) is a winter annual legume that has been used as a cover crop for years, primarily as a green manure crop for its nitrogen fixation ability. Its primary use has been in the Southern states due to the extended growing season. Vetch produces limited root growth compared to other legumes and grasses.

Hairy vetch requires a specific inoculum to efficiently fix nitrogen. Very little nitrogen fixation occurs below 40 degrees F, and since it takes three weeks for nodulation to develop, very little nitrogen is fixed in the fall in the upper Midwest. For maximum nitrogen production, the spring kill date needs to be delayed as long as possible, which in the upper Midwest is usually past the optimum planting date for corn. If nitrogen production is the primary objective, harvesting forage should be avoided since most of the nitrogen is in the top growth.


  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Rapid spring growth
  • Excellent in mixes following corn



  • To terminate by tillage, multiple passes may be required
  • To terminate by herbicide, use 1 pint of 2-4D or Sharpen with glyphosate

Seeding Dates: Upper Midwest - July or early August
Seeding Rates: drill 15-20 lbs/ac, broadcast 25-40 lbs/ac
Seeding Depth: 1/2 -1 1/2"

Caution: Hairy vetch can have 15-30% hard seed which may germinate for several years after planting. Avoid using ahead of wheat. Never let it go to seed in cropping fields. Hairy vetch is a host to soybean cyst nematode.