Field peas and pulse crops market in S.D.
If you are considering trying field peas for the first time, here are some tips to consider:
- Field peas offer the best (lowest risk) option to step into pulse production.
- There are two types of field peas; yellow and green. Generally green peas are sold into the human edible market and therefore quality can be a larger issue. Green peas are also used in premium dog food products. Yellow peas are popular in the feed markets and manufacturing sector. Some countries prefer yellow peas for human consumption. They have typically yielded better than green pea varieties in this area.
- Lining up a good seed source is very important. South Dakota has been a large producer of pea seed. Go to http://www.sdpulsegrowers.com/ for a list of seed producers and sellers.
- Pea seed is susceptible to damage, especially if it is handled in cold weather. All seed should be handled gently once the weather gets warmer. Use belts not augers, make sure towers have bumpers, etc.
- Line up a seed source soon.
- Peas are a cool season crop and are able to withstand relatively cool temperatures (19-23 deg F) at early growth (1-5 node stage) so it is important to plant them early in the growing season. Like wheat, very hot weather during flowering can limit their production.
- Being a large seed, peas have a lot of push and are therefore well adapted to no-till growing conditions.
- The seed should be inoculated with the proper type of rhizobium inoculant. Peas, lentils and chickpeas require a different strain than soybeans. Producers cannot afford to not inoculate or to have inoculant that does not work. We recommend using two sources of inoculant, especially with first time producers. Using both a seed applied and a granular source of inoculant has worked well in the past.
- Peas should be seeded at 350,000 pure live seeds/acre and planted deep enough to allow seed to absorb moisture (deeper than wheat). Proper depth helps peas withstand spring frosts.
- Peas can be drilled in narrow rows (10 inches or less). Use the least amount of air velocity as possible and equip towers with rubber pads. The key is to be gentle. Small cracks in the seed coat can affect germination. Most growers using low-disturbance no-till techniques in South Dakota do not use rollers.
- Grassy weeds are relatively easy to control with post emerge weed control, however broad leaf weeds should be controlled with a pre-emergent herbicide. It takes a while for peas to be competitive, so early germinating broadleaf weeds can be a problem. Early pre-plant (late fall or early spring) programs provide the best insurance.
- Chickpeas and lentils have also been grown very successfully in South Dakota. Anyone considering either of these, should carefully research production practices, adaptability and varieties beforehand.
For more information refer to the South Dakota Pulse Growers website: http://www.sdpulsegrowers.com/ or visit iGrow.org. Also, a power point presentation on pea production with voice by Dwayne Beck, Ph.D., is available upon request by contacting the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Pierre, 605-773-8120.
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