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COVER CROPS

Field Peas

DESCRIPTION

Field peas are excellent nitrogen fixers and establish quickly, providing good ground cover. Peas are usually mixed with oats, barley, or triticale and are an excellent source of high- protein forage. Field peas are divided into two types. The Austrian winter pea can be planted in the fall and usually overwinters south of Interstate 70. The other peas, like the Arvika spring pea, do best planted as early as you can get into the field in the spring.

MANAGEMENT

Peas like cool weather and languish in heat and drought. Peas like a wide variety of well-drained soils. They are almost always planted with small grains such as oats and are usually used as a dual purpose cover and forage crop. Inoculate to ensure good nitrogen production.

Arvika Peas

  • Rapid spring growth
  • Plant as early as you can get in the field
  • Produces over 100 lbs nitrogen
  • Excellent forage
  • Not suited for fall planting

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

ESTABLISHMENT

Plant peas 1 inch deep at a rate of 30-100 lbs/A depending on the mix. If nitrogen and protein are the goal, plant more peas than small grains. Plant fall peas by mid-August to mid-September; peas need to be 4-6 inches tall before going dormant for the winter. Plant spring peas as soon as you are able to work the fields. Expect peas to grow rapidly in the spring and to be ready for harvest or incorporation in about 60 days.

Horizon or Monthech Peas

  • An excellent source of protein & starch for livestock
  • Easy to double crop as it comes off early
  • Early to establish
  • Can be used for forage as well

Zones: 1, 2, 3