Grain Vetch have been grown across the lower to mid rainfall cereal areas. They are relatively slow growing in winter but have prolific spring growth. Pods are buff coloured, narrow and usually around 50 mm long with prominent seeds. In each pod there are usually 6 to 8 pillow shaped seeds with a mottled brown seed coat. When split the seed colour varies from white/ beige to orange, depending on the variety.
However both Namoi and Popany Vetch grain contain high levels of L-canavanine and under no circumstances should they be fed without processing to remove the toxin. Consumption of V. villosa grain was recently responsible for the death of ten cattle in Inverell so although it is suitable as forage for ruminants once the residual level of canavanine from the cotyledons in the above ground parts has diminished, care needs to be taken where the seed is concerned. Only V. sativa grain is suitable for pigs. It should be fed at no more than 10% of the ration and only then when the cyanoalanine toxin content is less than 1.1% of the grain.