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Hairy Vetch

Vicia villosa
Hairy vetch can be no-tilled, broadcasted on or drilled into a prepared seedbed.
Hairy vetch is a hardy species tolerating frost, drought and flooding. 
The only real significant difference between common vetch and hairy vetch is 
Hairy vetch is more winter-hardy than Common vetch.


  •  An annual pasture, forage and grain legume, 

  • Very palatable at all growth stages, from a young plant through to seedpods production in summer

  • Smothers weeds once establish, have vigorous growth in the spring giving excellent weed control   

  • Can be grown in crop rotations as a pasture or hay crop,

  • Acts as a disease break between cereals in a rotation. 

  • Highly nutritious dry matter such as hay or silage    

  • The same machinery is used for planting, maintenance and harvesting as used for cereal crops

  • Soft-seeded species are suitable in all crop rotations without the risk of voluntary plants creating a problem in following crops.


  • Has the ability to improve soil fertility, soil tilt, structure and organic matter. 

  • Fixes large amounts of atmospheric nitrogen. 

  • Suited to wetter soils and colder winters but grows on a range of soils, preferring loamy and sandy soils. 

  • Moderately sensitive to soil acidity

  • Protects soil from erosion.


  • Not well adapted to waterlogging. 

  • Common vetch is less winter-hardy than hairy vetch.