DD Vetch for seed?

charlesbrown

New Member
Location
N Beds
Been offered a contract to grow Vetch seed and it looks like a good alternative to Beans, but any experience out there please? DD in spring or autumn? Harvest problems? Weed control?

TIA

cb
 

Robigus

Member
Used to grow them as a seed crop but behind conventional tillage.
Autumn sown. It ends up very flat so roll the seed bed.
They were quite cheap to grow when we still had pulse herbicides available.
It is indeterminate flowering so you will need to dessicate it.
We used to run a side knife almost into the ground as it grows several metres, we experimented with a disc instead of a divider one year.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
I know a bloke who grows it with mustard to hold it up. He's on here.:whistle:

Very easy to grow, in fact stopping them growing is the problem as they just keep on flowering.

However harvesting them is not easy, they grow 2m tall which in reality means 2m flat. They will swamp a mustard nurse crop and drag it to the ground. If you try combining them without the sun on them they'll wrap around everything. If you have as many worm casts as I do the tank will be 50% Vetch and 50% worm cast and as they are both the same size and density it needs an X-Ray sortexer to clean them. I think I've mastered the job now but be prepared to have a few failure's in the first couple of years. A good yield would be 1/2t per acre.
Unless you have testicle's the size of Jupiter Peas would be easier.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Been offered a contract to grow Vetch seed and it looks like a good alternative to Beans, but any experience out there please? DD in spring or autumn? Harvest problems? Weed control?

TIA

cb

Having just read the new rules as posted by @blondeagadvisor growing a legume with another crop ( vetch and mustard or peas and rape ) doesn't count as a legume for greening. You will have to enter it as a mixed crop.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
I can pass you on the contact details if you want...............

I'd like to say that I wasn't trying to put you off, I was just saying how it is.
I grow vetches for seed, I am this year and next year also. It's taken several years to get to learn how best to do them and they are not easy ( linseed is a doddle compared to vetch ) however I do think that you need at least five years to master a new crop and I like that challenge.
 

Robigus

Member
I can pass you on the contact details if you want...............
Several year ago I realised that we were doing OK with cereals but needed to improve our break crops. I started growing minority seed crops for a couple of companies. Turnips, swede and broad beans we were quite good at; vetch/tares, radish and mustard we were OK at; cress, peas and a few others were on going disasters, although it took several years to realise

We were offered a vetch contract this season, but now that the younger generation is taking charge here they don't think growing hit and miss crops is such a good idea, apparently we should be block cropping and growing things that yield reliably. I think he could be right but it is not as interesting.
 

penfold

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Halstead
Growing some at home this year. Only 20 acres and on the flattest field we have. All was looking well until this latest rain. It was dying off well without having sprayed it and would have gone at it had we had two or three hot days. Now very flat and very wet!! . Any tips on harvesting. Will be a good crop if we can get in the combine tank. Been told you've got to go with bright sun and not too humid. Similar to linseed then?! Any advantage to running a non serrated knife? Robigus have you still got your disc arrangement? Any advice greatly received. Ain't worth nowt till it is in the shed.
 

Jim Bullock

Never Forgotten
Honorary Member
We have got a 1 ha (2.5 acres) of oil radish being grown for seed...It grew to about six feet high then was flattened by storms in early August. As everybody else has said it takes a few years to learn how to grow some of these crops. We had to spray the OR every few days through flowering to control the pollen beetle.. We can see where we got the timing wrong as there are bare seed sites along the seed stalk.
That said I have been attempting to grow spring rape for 30 years and have had only one good crop in that time... and will never ever grow it again..:blackeye:
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Growing some at home this year. Only 20 acres and on the flattest field we have. All was looking well until this latest rain. It was dying off well without having sprayed it and would have gone at it had we had two or three hot days. Now very flat and very wet!! . Any tips on harvesting. Will be a good crop if we can get in the combine tank. Been told you've got to go with bright sun and not too humid. Similar to linseed then?! Any advantage to running a non serrated knife? Robigus have you still got your disc arrangement? Any advice greatly received. Ain't worth nowt till it is in the shed.

I know the feeling only too well! I've had crops like this and sometimes all you end up with is half a tonne of mush that I ended tipping in a hedge.
However I have also had crops that I had completely given up on and a couple of days later the sun has come out, a drying breeze has picked up and I've had them.

When they are flat they do need sun on them as, as you say, they will wrap around the table auger. Removing the flight fingers may help but sun is the key.
As with flat peas you will probably need lifters to lift them out of the dirt. It would also pay to have a side knife, preferably one that goes all the way down to the table knife. You need to lift them up over the knife and try and keep as much dirt out of them as possible to prevent clogging the concave with mud.
Otherwise I'd go with a slow drum and reasonably wide concave, fan about the same as wheat, sieves slightly wider than wheat as a start. You'll also need a good header reverser, they never look much going in but when you reverse the header a mountain will appear from nowhere.
Good luck, don't give up. My motto is...all those that persevere succeed.
 

penfold

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Halstead
Thanks Simon, some useful pointers there. Never thought of the auger wrapping! The more people I speak to the more fun it sounds!
Was going to go with lifters. Also on the Deere combine you can alter the pitch of the header from the frame on the feeder house. Was thinking of having the header slightly more nose down. My theory being this may help get under the carpet. Father reckons it will just encourage bulldozing. He might be right. He normally is!!! What would you think? Now wishing we had a vario type header!!!
As you say I think patience is the key here!!
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Thanks Simon, some useful pointers there. Never thought of the auger wrapping! The more people I speak to the more fun it sounds!
Was going to go with lifters. Also on the Deere combine you can alter the pitch of the header from the frame on the feeder house. Was thinking of having the header slightly more nose down. My theory being this may help get under the carpet. Father reckons it will just encourage bulldozing. He might be right. He normally is!!! What would you think? Now wishing we had a vario type header!!!
As you say I think patience is the key here!!

With the Deere lifters you can change the angle just by changing which hole you put the retaining clip in. I'd do that rather than changing the angle of the feeder house plate.
 

penfold

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Halstead
Good point. Have lifted some very flat wheat in the past pretty succesfully. Best if you can get a flow going but thinking that might be a bit ambitious in this vetch. Fortunately the reverser is damn good on this combine. Very rarely have to pull anything out. Yet!!
 

penfold

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Halstead
Hello All,
Sorry never reported back on how we did!
A salvage job would describe it best! But a good one! Managed to get most of the crop in the tank. Was expecting just over half a ton per acre and got just under half a ton. And a lot of worm casts!!
Took two half days with sun and travelling very very slowly. Used the reel to lift the vetch onto the header. @Simon Chiles it was very tempting to abandon hope but patience and perseverance paid off in the end.
We must be mad but we have doubled the acreage for this year. Theory being we cant have that rain in August two years on the trot!! Famous last words!! You'll have to blame me if we get another wet harvest!!
Love what the vetch has done for our soil though. We have some fantastic looking wheat behind. This currently has a fair bit of volunteer vetch again but not too worried at the moment.
@H.Jackson just had a look on You Tube at a Sund. Cracking piece of kit. Looks like just what we need. Looks pretty pricey mind. Anyone know of any cheap second hands about?!!!
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



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