The growth and seed yield of 5 vetch (Vicia) cultivars representing Vicia sativa, V. benghalensis and V. villosa were compared at 8 sites over 2 years in south-western Australia.
The vetches showed considerable potential as grain and forage legume crops in the low to medium rainfall areas of the Western Australian cereal belt. Cultivars of V. sativa showed the most potential in terms of dry matter and seed yield, and on average across sites and seasons both Languedoc and Blanchefleur produced over 2.5 t/ha of dry matter at flowering. Machine-harvested seed yields were over 1.6 t/ha. Cultivars of V. benghalensis and V. villosa produced considerably less dry matter at flowering and had lower harvest index (0.14-0.42) and seed yield (
It is concluded that vetch species may have a role in farming systems in Western Australia for the production of fodder, hay, grain or green manure while providing the other rotational benefits of legumes on fine-textured neutral to alkaline and shallow duplex soils where narrow-leafed lupin is poorly adapted.