- an annual pasture, forage and grain legume,
- very palatable at all growth stages, from a young plant through to seedpods production in summer,
- highly nutritious dry matter as hay or silage with
- has the ability to improve soil fertility, structure and organic matter substantially
- smothers weeds once establish giving excellent weed control abilities
- providing non-selective weed control and long term reducing the risk of herbicide-resistant weeds
- acts as a disease break between cereals in a rotation
- fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil; benefiting subsequent cereal crops in yield and quality.
- growing in crop rotations as a pasture or hay crop is a useful strategy for controlling resistant grass weeds as they will be grazed or cut before the grasses set seeds
- 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.
- Not well adapted to waterlogging.
- Post-emergent herbicide options for broadleaf weed control are limited.
- Common vetch is less winter-hardy than hairy vetch.