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. The peas we currently have are suited primarily for cover crop & forage; they will produce tasty edible shoots, however they won't be as tender as certain varieties.
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