Peas, Field - OrganicPisum sativum var. arvense Annual legume. Up to 40". Also called Forage Peas. Frost-tolerant annual legume native to the Mediterranean basin. Likes cool moist conditions. Will grow in most soil types but prefers well-drained loams. For cover crop, seed at 100–200#/acre, 2#/1000 sq ft. For forage, seed early in the season, alone at 200#/acre, 5#/1000 sq ft, or 100#/acre (2#/1000 sq ft) with oats or barley at 50#/acre (3#/1000 sq ft).
As cover crop: A weed-smothering workhorse soil builder. Field peas add about 70#/acre of nitrogren to the soil. Sow alone or with a nurse crop such as oats to help it stand.
As annual forage: Especially suitable for interseeding with oats to increase the protein of the finished forage by 3–4%. Peas have excellent palatability and are highly digestible. Hanne Tierney of Cornerstone Farm conducted a 2009 SARE trial in which she reduced by 50% the grain fed out to hogs pastured on a barley and field-pea mix; the pastured hogs achieved an average slaughter weight not significantly different from the control group, although there was greater variation. Some potential for dry hay as well, though filled pods can be difficult to dry down. Peas may be seeded alone, but a companion crop of small grains will help to prevent lodging.
It has come to our attention that some customers are purchasing our field peas for pea-shoot production: not all of the varieties we purchase are suitable for this, so please let us know if you have special plans for your pea seed and we’ll do our best to accommodate!.
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