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See bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
some species of grassy plant of the genus of sweet peas Vicia, family Leguminosae. The name “vetch” is prevalent in agriculture. Twelve cultivated species of vetch are known, in addition to which there are some wild species. The most widespread types are common vetch or tare and hairy or sand vetch. Common vetch (Vicia sativa) has been known as a cultivated plant since the time of ancient Rome. In the USSR it is cultivated in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part, in Siberia, and in the Caucasus. The stem of a vetch plant is 40-110 cm tall, thin, and ramose; in a young plant it is straight, but later it bends downward and attaches itself to a surface by means of leafy tendrils. The flowers (numbering one, two, or three) rest on the axil of the leaves..The corolla is violet-purple, lilac, or pink in color. The beans are of an elongated rhombic shape and contain four to ten seeds. The weight of 1,000 seeds is 50-60 g. Vetch is sown as seed early in the season and as green grass, hay, and silage mixed with oats and less often with barley at different times during the season. In the regions with nonblack soil it is often used as a fallow crop, and in the southern regions, where the soil has ample moisture, it is used as a stubble crop. The harvest of vetch grain reaches 20 centners per hectare (ha) and 200-250 centners per ha for verdure. One hundred kg of verdure contains 20 units of fodder and 3.8 kg of digestible protein; 100 kg of hay contains 45.8 units of fodder and 12.3 kg of digestible protein. Approximately 40 selected and local types of vetch have been distinguished.
Hairy vetch (V. villosa) is cultivated in the USSR in Byelorussia, in the Ukraine, in the Northern Caucasus, and in several central raions of the RSFSR. It is sown as verdure mixed with winter rye or wheat. The harvest of verdure is approximately 200 centners per ha. It sometimes interferes with the sowing of winter grains.
REFERENCESFlora SSSR, vol. 13. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Mitrofanova, A. S., and M. M. Rozhkova. Vika (iarovaia i ozimaia). Moscow, 1961.
R. Iu. Guss