Annual legumes: main species and their characteristics

For feed production, annual grasses of the legume family are very valuable. Forage grasses are grown in clean crops, cereal or legume mixtures for hay, green fodder, haylage, for grazing. Annual legume grasses include: spring vetch, hairy vetch, seradella.


  • Vika spring: description and agricultural technology
  • Vika shaggy: description
  • Seradella: description

Vika spring: description and agricultural technology

It is the most common leguminous annual plant. It has a taproot that penetrates to a depth of 1 meter. The lateral roots are well developed. This plant has a thin and branched stem, which can be up to 100 cm in length. The leaves of the vetch are pinnately compound and have 5-8 pairs of leaves, at the end of which are antennae. The flowers are purple, but pink can also be found. The plant begins to take away the plant 2 months after the emergence of seedlings, the ripening of the seeds is delayed.

The mass of 1000 seeds is about 60-100 g. A multi-seeded bean acts as a fruit. Seeds germinate at a temperature of about 2-3 degrees. Even the first frosts in spring are well tolerated by seedlings. This type of crop can grow in different soils, but prefers cohesive soils. Vetch is sown in rows, grows well in the field after harvesting spring crops or row crops. Sowing can be carried out at different times if the plant is used as a green forage.

Of all leguminous plants, spring vetch is characterized by high fodder qualities. Dry grass contains nutrients such as protein, fiber and carotene. Vetch is usually sown with oats or together with other cereals. Spring vetch is also called sowing vetch. The plant is harvested for hay after flowering, when beans begin to form, and green fodder a little earlier.

Vika shaggy: description

The legume plant can be cultivated not only as a winter, but also as a spring crop. The plant contains nutrients. Also, the furry vetch contains protein. Unlike vetch, spring contains a large amount of protein. The furry or winter vetch has a taproot. The stems of the plant are thin and unstable to lodging. Therefore, it should be grown together with other plants that will serve as a support. The green mass begins to grow actively during the budding period and during flowering. Unlike spring vetch, this legume has a long flowering period. Seed material begins to germinate at 2 degrees Celsius.

Detailed video about legumes:

Sowing furry vetch freezes at a temperature of 17-20 degrees. If the snow cover is deep, the winter vetch is able to withstand very low temperatures. The plant dies during frequent thaws with a further decrease in temperature in winter. The seeds of the plant are bitter in taste and animals are reluctant to eat them. The amount of seeds in concentrated feed does not exceed 10%. Sowing is done in spring. Furry vetch can be cultivated with winter rye or wheat. G is mainly used for green forage, but also for silage or hay, etc.

Seradella: description

It is an annual plant with a creeping and highly branching stem, the length of which can reach 50 cm. If the plant is well developed, then on one stem there can be about 16 branches covered with small leaves. Seradella flowers are collected in a brush, they are small in shape with a pinkish tinge. The fruit of the plant is a pod that looks like bird's toes. For this reason, the plant is often called a bird's foot. The fodder plant loves slightly acidic soils. Since this is a moisture-loving plant, it can grow on sandy soils with good moisture. If seradella is fed with phosphorus-potassium fertilizer or manure, then the plant will give a high yield.

The plant can be planted as a separate crop or sown to cereals. Sowing an annual plant begins in the spring. It begins to bloom 1.5 months after sowing the seeds all summer. Sown seradella is cultivated for hay or green forage.

Can be used as a green fertilizer. Nutritional properties are the same as those of spring vetch. It grows slowly at first, but by the end of summer it grows quite intensively. Seradella is a good livestock feed.

Other members of the legume family include fodder lupine and field peas. These grasses are also grown as cuttings or stubble crops. Basically, all annual plants that belong to the legume family are grown for livestock. These species are cultivated in full fallow, and grow in a short time and are quite often used in agriculture.

Watch the video: The potential of secondary legumes and multispecies mixtures in forage production (December 2021).