Kickstart Your Wheat Crop With Studenica Vetch

Incorporating vetch into the cropping rotation has been a trifecta for Colin Fawcett, providing hay and grazing opportunities as well as its stubble being the ideal kickstart for a successful wheat crop.

Colin’s farm at Nullawil in the Southern Mallee region in Victoria, often grows a large area of vetch, mainly for hay. His usual variety is Timok, but he decided to sow a small area with S&W Studenica Vetch this year to see where the new variety could fit in his operation.

Vetch, A Great Supplement To Wheat Crops

Colin often grows barley, canola, lentils and field peas, with opportunistic wheat crops also included in his cropping rotation. Vetch is a great addition to this, as it’s ideal for hay and grazing, plus the vetch stubbles provides an ideal base for a successful wheat crop thanks to the added nitrogen and organic matter left behind.

The Studenica was sown in early June at 33 kilograms per hectare. “We sowed it over 30 hectares, sowing it light to see how it went and maximise the area sown,”
Colin said. The light sowing rate paid off, with the Studenica taking off despite the very dry start across the Mallee region.

adding vetch wheat crop

Studenica Vetch Powers On Amid Challenges

July brought some rain and “saved the season”, with 25 millimeters one week, followed up the next week another 25 millimeters. This rainfall combined with a milder winter meant the crops took advantage of the moisture and kept growing.

The lack of rain meant disease pressure was quite low so only one fungicide was applied. Studenica Vetch is also tolerant to powdery mildew, powering on even in seasons with increased risk.

With seedling frost tolerance, the Studenica pushed through tough conditions with Colin noting “some really great winter bulk”.

Studenica is an earlier maturing variety than Timok, and was in full flower by early September, despite the later sowing time. This makes it a great option for grazing, as it provides bulk when other vetches haven’t quite kicked off in winter, and can also provide an early hay option in late sowing years.

Colin aims to cut his Timok for hay and harvest his Studenica paddock for seed. Impressed with the results, he will be increasing his Studenica sowing.

“I would be happy to include Studenica for probably half of our total vetch operation.”

Interested in Studenica Vetch?

Learn more about Studenica Vetch on our website here. You can reach out to our territory manager in your region for assistance, or talk to your local rural retailer to order.

vetch wheat crop nitrogen

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