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Hairy Vetch

Winter hardy. Later maturity. Abundant nitrogen.

A PVP protected variety which began with selection work by Steve Groff in E. PA, WinterKing demonstrates improved winter hardiness, delayed flowering and the capacity to produce large amounts of high-nitrogen biomass.

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Improved Winter Hardiness

Better winter hardiness equates to more biomass. More biomass provides increased forage for livestock, more biomass for cover croppers, and increased weed suppression for all. Those desiring high nitrogen-fixing legumes for green manure, forage grazing, wildlife and pollinator attractants should find WinterKing an improved option over other legumes that lack cold tolerance.

Delayed Flowering

As an annual legume, hairy vetch may need to be terminated either mechanically or chemically when followed by a row crop. Some producers may find the late maturity of WinterKing reduces the potential for undesired seed propagation found in earlier maturing cover crop varieties. For livestock producers, WinterKing’s late maturity means more vegetative high value feed longer into the spring season.


WinterKing has shown potential to produce 150-200#N/acre, especially when allowed to reach maturity later in the season. This is beneficial for green manure as well as providing an extended high-protein source for grazing livestock throughout the full spring season.

Forage Quality

Louisiana State University

Hairy Vetch Evaluation Trial (Forage Quality)

Winnsboro, LA – 2017–2018

AU Merit 0.52 0.38 24.31
WinterKing 0.49 0.36 22.93
Oregon VNS 0.50 0.37 22.47
Villana 0.53 0.39 20.8
* results not evaluated for statistical difference   

Yield Data

Louisiana State University

Hairy Vetch Evaluation Trial (DM/AC)

Winnsboro, LA – 2017–2018

Variety  Harvest Date  
Entry Mar. 27 11-May Total
WinterKing 1141 1983 3124
Oregon Origin 931 1907 2838
Villana 958 1678 2636
Villata 1067 502 1569
Common Vetch 1068 322 1391
Naomi Wooly Pod 1108 ------ 1108
LSD 221 488 597

Penn State University

Hairy Vetch Evaluation Trial (Flowering date and DM/ac)

State College, PA – 2007–2008

Entry % flowering June 5th Harvest Dm/Ac
Groff Vetch 1 50.0 616
AU Early Cover 75.0 508
Purple Prosperity 50.0 359
Purple Bounty 53.3 192
1WinterKing is a further cycling of “Groff Vetch” 
Seeded Sept 7, 2007


WinterKing hairy vetch can be seeded at a rate of 10-40 lbs/acre depending on the mix or purpose. For best results, plant 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost. Ideal seeding depth: ½–1½".

Planting Method Drill, broadcast with light disking
Seeding Rate - Drilled 15–20 lbs/ac, 10–15 lbs/ac (in mix)
Seeding Rate - Broadcast 25–40 lbs/ac, 15–20 lbs/ac (in mix)
Planting Dates 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost
Planting Zones (map) green
Planting Depth ½–1½"
Termination Roll kill, selective or non-selective herbicide allows for no-till seeding into terminated stand.
Planting zones

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