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AU Merit

AU Merit

Hairy Vetch

More Forage. More Nitrogen. Early Harvest. Wide Adaptation.

AU Merit is ideal for grazing, hay, and cover crops. It is a proven producer of enormous amounts of forage that is ready early in the year. It is also a massive nitrogen producer and perfect for supporting pollinators and wildlife.

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Features

Early Maturity

AU Merit is nearly 15 days earlier than most other hairy vetch cultivars. When used as a cover crop, this means more biological N fixation (BNF) potential exists for early spring planted crops.

High Forage Yield

AU Merit’s early maturity also contributes to its high forage production and increase value for early spring grazing.

Abundant Nitrogen

In trials, AU Merit showed up to 175 lbs. of N/acre, exceeding many other legumes.

Vigorous and Adaptive

AU Merit was bred to have good disease resistance, excellent seedling vigor and tolerance to a wide range of soil types.

Attracts Wildlife/Pollinators

AU Merit provides wildlife and pollinators abundant forage and flowers throughout the spring growing season.

Nitrogen Studies

AU Merit was evaluated as part of an extensive cover crop nitrogen study conducted by North Carolina State University in 2008-2010. In this trial, AU Merit showed up to 175 lbs. of N/acre and direct positive grain yield contributions to the following corn crop.

North Carolina State

Cover Crop Nitrogen Study

2008 – 2009

Cultivar Piedmont, NC Tidewater, NC
  Biomass (Mg/ha) Total N (kg/ha) Biomass (Mg/ha) Total N (kg/ha)
  Early Mid Late Early Mid Late Early Mid Late Early Mid Late
AU Merit HV 4.2 6 5.5 166 197 190 4.1 4.6 5.6 157 166 179
Dixie Crimson 5 5.6 5 134 136 87 3.5 4.8 3.6 82 117 73
Bigbee Berseem 2.6 4.3 5.2 73 112 139 0.8 1.8 3.4 26 48 74
Cereal Rye 5 6.4 7.1 52 45 42 5.4 6.7 8.3 54 56 53

North Carolina State

Cover Crop Nitrogen Study

2009 – 2010

Cultivar Caswell, NC Piedmont, NC
  Biomass (Mg/ha) Total N (kg/ha) Biomass (Mg/ha) Total N (kg/ha)
  Early Late Early Late Early Late Early Late
AU Merit HV 3.1 2.6 79 64 6.2 4.7 204 136
Dixie Crimson 3.6 2.4 62 34 5.9 5.7 138 90
Bigbee Berseem 2.4 1.8 42 43 6.3 7.7 155 169
Aus Winter Pea 3.2 3.6 77 91 6.2 4.7 208 128
AU Merit + Wrens Abruzzi 4.1 6.2 92 152 8.4 9.7 212 217
Cereal Rye 1.8 2.6 12 21 12.6 8.3 69 37

North Carolina State

Cover Crop Nitrogen Study

2008 – 2010

  Tidewater 2009 Piedmont 2009 Caswell 2010 Piedmont 2010
Corn Planting date* 4/16 4/29 5/13 4/23 5/8 5/21 4/23 5/6 4/28 5/28
AU Merit HV 1.0 3.6 7.8 5.3 7.0 8.4 0.9 1.9 3.4 3.1
Dixie Crimson 4.8 4.2 5.5 3.8 5.0 3.5 1.1 0.6 2.1 1.8
Bigbee Berseem 0.8 0.7 2.3 0 1.0 4.3 1.0 0.7 2.2 5.0
Aus Winter pea - - - 3.1 5.3 5.0 0.8 0.9 3.1 2.0
AU Meri + Wrens Abruzzi - - - - - - 1.0 1.0 5.4 5.1
*Grain Yields of Corn planted into roll-killed cover crop residue.

North Carolina State

Cover Crop Nitrogen Study (Ndfa*)

2008 – 2010

Cultivar Piedmont 2009 Tidewater 2009 Caswell 2010 Caswell 2010
  Ndfa (%) Total N (Kg/ha) Ndfa(%) Total N (Kg/ha) Ndfa(%) Total N (Kg/ha) Nfga(%) Total N (Kg/ha)
AU Merit HV 100±10 174±25 87±20 152±14 97±3 109±9 83±3 135±14
Dixie Crimson 85±13 101±30 71±20 73±20 97±4 62±13 88±5 119±21
Bigbee Berseem 100±13 139±30 96±15 73±20 100±3 42±10 94±3 151±13
Aus Winter Pea 71±10 69±25 - - 87±3 80±9 79±3 130±13
AU Merit + Wrens Abruzzi - - - - 88±3 117±9 80±3 174±13
*Nitrogen Derived from the Atmosphere (Ndfa)

Yield Data

AU Merit has shown its ability to produce abundant forage (12% or greater than many other varieties) and flower earlier. While AU Merit has been tested and used in numerous locations, data from Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas are worth noting.

Alabama

AU Merit has shown significant yields performance in multiple locations with yields exceeding other varieties by 11-22%.

Louisiana

AU Merit was planted on the LSU Winnsboro research farm. The trial was initially planted in late October. Due to extreme droughty conditions, it was replicated with another planting 25 days later at the end of November. The results shown in these data sets would indicate that AU Merit should perform well planted both early and late. Yield performance exceeded other varieties by up to 40%

Texas

AU Merit outperformed other varieties up to 42% and showed very good regrowth in a double cutting. This trial also evaluated AU Merit with Nitro-Coat® and indicated an 18% boost in total dry matter with the Nitro-Coated® entry.

Auburn University

Forage Yields (Total DM/A)

1997 – 1998

Variety Tallassee Belle Mina Brewton Ave %
AU Merit 2244 1191 2096 1844 112
Common 2184 1245 1495 1641 100
AU EarlyCover 1693 859 2087 1547 94
Americus 2164 550 1691 1468 90
Lsd Ns 501 400
Plants cut around April 1.

Louisiana State University

Forage Evaluation (Total DM/A)

Winnsboro, LA – 2017–2018

Planted Oct. 26. Harvested March 27. Planted Nov. 21. Harvested May 1.
Entry Yield (Total DM/A) Entry Yield (Total DM/A)
AU Merit 1531 Naomi Wooly Pod 1554
WinterKing 1141 AU Merit 1412
Naomi Wooly Pod 1108 Villana 1127
Common Vetch 1068 Oregon Origin 1008
Villana 958 Common Vetch 983
Oregon Origin 931 WinterKing 954
LSD (.1) 221 LSD (.1) 486
CV% 14 CV% 26

Texas A&M

Winter Forage Variety Trials (Total DM/A)

Luling, TX – 2018

Variety April 1 April 30 Total
AU Merit Nitro-Coated® HV 3340 2904 6244
AU Merit HV 2759 2904 5663
Villata HV 2468 2468 4937
VNS (variety not stated) 3920 871 4792
Common vetch 1307 2323 3630
Naomi Wooly Pod 1452 2178 3630
HV = Hairy Vetch
Planted November 7, 2017.
No fertilizer was applied.

Performance

Winter Hardiness

While a full winter hardiness evaluation has not yet been completed, AU Merit is known for exhibiting good tolerance in the Southeast US as well as showing good to excellent survivability in cover crop trials in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Ohio State University

Cover Crop Trial

April 27, 2016

Variety Stand % Cover % Tons DM/A
AU Merit 98 100 1.26
Oregon common 100 100 1.14
Purple Bounty 100 100 1.06
Australian common 99 99 0.99
Argentine common 1 1 -
Lsd     .62
Planted Sept 4, 2015

Planting

AU Merit hairy vetch can be seeded at a rate of 10-40 lbs/acre depending on the mix or purpose. For best results, plant 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost. Ideal seeding depth: ½–1½".

Seeding Rate–Drilled 15–20 lbs/ac, 10–15 lbs/ac (in mix)
Seeding Rate–Broadcast 25–40 lbs/ac, 15–20 lbs/ac (in mix)
Planting Dates 3-6 weeks prior to the average first killing frost
Planting Zones (map) green
Planting Depth ½–1½"
Termination Roll kill, selective or non-selective herbicide allows for no-till seeding into terminated stand.
AU Merit Vetch Planting Zones

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