Trial Report Summary

Intercropping corn and hairy vetch

Crop Type(s):
Corn, Vetch



1. To evaluate the merits of growing hairy vetch in the understory of grain corn
2. To evaluate tolerance level of hairy vetch to different types and dosages of herbicides: Roundup
(540 g ae ac-1), Basagran, Koril and Mextrol


Corn and hairy vetch intercrop provides a wide range of ecosystem services that include erosion protection and improved weed control due to hairy vetch’s creeping growth habit (Brainard et al., 2012). In addition, nitrogen fixation by hairy vetch may result in reduced costs on fertilizer, improved potassium availability for subsequent crops and improved soil biodiversity (Cook et al., 2010; OMAFRA, 2012). When grown in a mix with roundup ready corn, there is need for effective application rates of roundup that will control weeds but not kill the beneficial hairy vetch. It is important to determine the most effective herbicide type and application rates that will achieve the desired control without being detrimental to the intended crops and the environment. Roundup on its own at low rates does not usually result in control of hairy vetch as a weed, however, when tank mixed with other broad leaf herbicides it can be effective. Considering the importance of hairy vetch as a forage crop, it can be useful as an understory crop that can be grazed in fall after harvesting corn. This study seeks to identify the types and application rates of herbicides that will be tolerated by hairy vetch for the purposes of maintaining it as a cover crop and forage for livestock.


Entire findings are available by downloading the report PDF.

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