Bred by Dr. Thomas Devine of the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, Purple Bounty is a breath of fresh air to producers wanting to use Hairy Vetch as a cover crop. In contrast to the common hairy vetch that producers are accustomed to, Purple Bounty is about 2 weeks earlier flowering, which is a tremendous help to those producers wanting to follow the vetch with corn. Using Purple Bounty will allow many producers to get their corn planted on time, where that was very difficult using common hairy vetch. Dr. Devine also increased the winterhardiness of Purple Bounty which will help growers in the far northern areas be more assured that the vetch will survive the winter. Seeding rate 25-35 lbs/Acre.
- More winter hardy than conventional vetch
- 10 days earlier than conventional vetch
- Excellent N producer of allowed to bloom
- Can produce 5500-7300 lbs biomass
While Hairy Vetch is a top producer nitrogen and ground cover, fall planted vetch is slow to establish and will not will not produce much top cover unless planted early, for example, after wheat or oats. For this reason, vetch is usually mixed with faster establishing cover crops such as radish and rye grass. Rapid spring growth produces a heavy mulch layer and is one of the best for suppressing weeds and preventing erosion. If allowed to reach 50% bloom, vetch can produce up to 250 lbs of N, about half of which is available to the following crop. About 10% of vetch seed is “hard seeded” and will not germinate the first year, posing potential weed problems.
Drill 15-20 lbs/A or broadcast at 25-30 lbs/A and cover with a harrow. In mixes 10-15 lbs/A. Seed 30-45 days before a killing frost as vetch is slow to establish. Plant 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Roots continue to grow through the winter. Vetch has a high P & K requirement but needs very little N for establishment. Doesn’t do well as a spring planted crop.
Best ahead of corn. Inoculate with a vetch inoculant for best N production. Once vetch reaches 50% bloom, it can be killed by mowing or rolling with a stalk chopper. Spraying and incorporation also work well. Vetch will provide a heavy ground cover but, as a succulent, it decomposes rapidly and will lose its effectiveness as cover in 4 to 6 weeks. Winter kill is possible if temperatures are below 5⁰ with no snow cover.
Tags: Bounty, Byron Seeds, Hairy, Purple, Purple Bounty Hairy Vetch Byron, Seeds, Vetch