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Very early spring planting will yield the best results. Root development during cool spring weather will enable the plant to benefit from winter moisture and withstand stress later. Indications are that this plant can usually tolerate temperatures that dip as low as 22-26 degrees F. Recommended planting time would be at or before oats are seeded in your area. Proper seed inoculation is essential for Nitrogen production.

Proper inoculation increases legume growth by as much as110%, water use efficiency by 130%, and reduces weed populations. Use a rhizobial inoculant designated for field peas or vetch. Inoculants designated for alfalfa, sweetclover, or soybeans will not be effective. Canadian researchers recommend using a high quality, self-sticking peat powder-type Rhizobium leguminosarum inoculant as used for peas and lentils. (Call Dakota Frontier Seeds for further information.) The large seed can be planted in the top 3 inches.

Planting depth should be determined by the available moisture, soil type, and protection from possible freezing. Seed should be covered by at least one inch of soil. Broadcasting is not recommended. A planting rate of 50-60 lbs/acre is recommended. Many growers, especially in drier areas, have preferred to seed 60 lbs/acre.

Height of mature plant at about 4 feet.
Height of mature
plant at about 4 feet.

Soil type, available moisture, climate, and intended use of the growing crop will all be determining factors. Experimenting with different seeding rates will help determine what is best for each grower’s situation. For planting equipment, use a regular grain drill (a soybean setting works well), or an air seeder. Avoid using equipment that may damage the seed since the seed is not round and may become chipped at the corners allowing infection by mold and other pathogens to reduce germination.

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