Tips on growing field peas in crop rotation

Semi-dwarf peas are the go

Field peas are useful in crop rotations and well adapted to the wheatbelt, but suffer from a prostrate growth habit.

Semi-dwarf, erect peas have a number of advantages: harvesting is easier and faster; light penetration and aeration are improved, allowing more lower pods to be retained; disease damage is less. Seed quality is also improved, which is important for the human food market.

Crop management of semi-dwarf and semi-leafless types

Sow in early June to maximise yield from both conventional and semi-leafless types. This sowing time is not optimal for nitrogen fixation, but plant populations of 60-70 plants/m2 maximise the yield from conventional and semi-leafless types sown in early June.

If sowing is delayed by four weeks, populations of 70 (conventional and semi-leafless) and 90 (semi-dwarf) plants/m2 are necessary for maximum yields.

Wheat yields following peas benefited from the application of 35-40 kg nitrogen/ha.