AU Merit

Early maturity, high forage yields, abundant nitrogen.

AU Merit hairy vetch was bred for early maturity, high forage yields and wide adaptation. It also produces an abundance of nitrogen.

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 was bred by Auburn University specifically for high forage and biomass production and early flowering. The result is a variety which exhibits high forage yields (up to 12% higher than common hairy vetch).

Auburn University

Forage Yields (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
AU Merit in a field.

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/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 Planting Zones

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