Hairy vetch Rea


  • The hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) is a green plant of the Fabaceae family, temperate climate.
  • It binds easily absorbable nitrogen, which can be successfully used by successive plants.
  • Vetch increases the protein content of the first greens fed in spring.
  • Sown with winter rye or winter triticale does not require separate cultivation and fertilisation.

The annual plant called the winter vetch is a valuable forage species grown for green fodder and seeds. Since it is classified as a legume plant, its roots have the possibility of symbiosis with papillary bacteria, In general, therefore, winter vetch does not require nitrogen fertilisation. The only exception are mixtures with cereal plants. It prefers fertile soils (alkaline or neutral) and sunny positions with moderate humidity. Ultimately, it grows to a height of 1 to 1.5 meters.Its flowering occurs at the turn of spring and summer (third decade of June) . However, it is quite susceptible to drought, especially when it is at the stage of flowering.

The most common use of vetch is for animal feed. It is recommended to add rye to the feed. It is also a honey plant. There is a large amount of protein in the seeds – about 30%.


The cultivation of vetches does not require the use of separate fertilisation. The performed treatments are similar to those used in the case of winter grains. However, you should remember about sparing nitrogen supply. When deciding on the variety and species of the supporting plant, it is worth taking into account its specific parameters. It should be winter-hardy, medium-high and resistant to lodging. Rye and winter vetch mixes are usually sown in the first ten days of September, just after the heat of the day. The seeds are placed 3 to 4 cm deep and the row spacing should be 12.5 cm


Winter vetch is harvested when the pods are mature. The signal to start harvesting is the first bursting of their pods. The yields depend mainly on the adopted technology – with the variety offered by PHR, the yield may be about 8 dt/ha. Mixtures intended for green fodder should be mowed together with the beginning of the rye heading So far, only one variety of vetch is registered in Poland – REA.