Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2012


Great Plains Research 22 (Spring 2012):35-43


© 2012 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Our objective was to evaluate adaptation and compatibility of cool-season annual legumes overseeded into perennial grasses in the southern Great Plains. Freeze damage, vigor, and standing crop of 14 annual legume species were evaluated during spring at three locations in Oklahoma and Texas from 2006 to 2008. Across locations and years, standing crop of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) and Austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum L. ssp. arvense (L.) Poir.] averaged 3,513 and 3,210 kg dry matter (DM) ha-1, respectively. Standing crop of crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) and arrowleaf clover (T. vesiculosum Savi) averaged 1,138 and 1,071 kg DM ha-1, respectively. Although subject to freeze damage, annual medics produced more spring forage than annual clovers on soil with pH > 8.0. Most of the annual legumes survived winter, demonstrating their adaptability to pastures in the southern Great Plains, but hairy vetch and Austrian winter pea consistently provided the most spring forage.