Goat’s rue or French lilac (Galega oritalis L.) is a perennial leguminous plant. In pure crops it grows up to 14 years, in mixtures with cereals 7-8 years. It can be sown throughout Ukraine for silage, hay, haylage and green forage purposes with legumes and cereals. Goat’s rue is a valuable fodder crop. Reaches maximum productivity in the third year of growing. It provides early spring forage because its cutting ripeness comes early – in late May-early June but in the southern regions even before that. There’s 20-22 k.o. in 100 kg of green mass and 57-58 k.o. in hay. Livestock feeding with goat’s rue significantly increases milk output. It is well consumed in pure form and in mixtures with cereal. Due to the high protein content the plant can substitute concentrated feed for the pigs. Goat’s rue is a good melliferous plant. Crop of seeds 6-8 kg/he, of green mass – 400 centner/he.
Goat’s rue is a good precursor for field crops. It has a powerful ramified root system that penetrates the soil to a depth of 3-4 m. Cold resistant and winter-hardy culture, withstands winter cold (down to – 25 º C) and spring and autumn frost (down to negative 3-5 º C). Moderate demanding to moisture, doesn’t tolerate the near presence of groundwater. Displays better growth on fertile, structural,wet loamy and sandy soils with neutral acidity. Suitable for growing on reclamation, peat and floodplain lands.
Goat’s rue is grown after the crop rotation due to its long period of use. Often sown without the cover crop. Winter and cultivated crops are the best predecessors. Before sowing scarification and rizotrofin seed treatment are recommended in order to improve the similarity and to stimulate plant growth. Sowing conducted in early spring simultaneously with early spring grain crops. The seeding rate with row-sowing method for forage is 25-30 kg/he, with wide-row method 10-12 kg/he. The optimal enfolding depth of seed is 1-2 cm, in light soils up to 3 cm. When sowing in mixtures with smooth brome grass the seeding rate for goat’s rue is 14-16 kg/he with 6-8 kg/he of smooth brome grass. The green mass is cut at height 10-12 cm in the budding – start of blooming phase, the after-grass is mowed in the middle of September.