Are Peas For Me?

Oct 19, 2020

Are Peas For Me?

There is an air of excitement in the farming community surrounding the investment in plant protein in Manitoba e.g. the Roquette Plant in Portage la Prairie is one of the largest private sector investments in Manitoba’s history.

Peas are well-suited to many growing areas of the province and are an excellent rotational crop. Peas can help spread out your workload, as they lend themselves to an early planting date from late April to early May. They are tolerant of cool soil temperatures and frost. Field selection is important, peas do not like it wet! Choose a well-drained field not subject to waterlogging. Be aware of residual herbicides that have re-cropping restrictions for peas, these include clopyralid, flucarbazone, and imazamethabenz.

It is very important to inoculate peas for nitrogen fixation. Double- inoculating i.e. on the seed and in-furrow is recommended for fields with no history of peas. Granular in-furrow inoculants are very effective and are a common practice. Low rates of phosphorus in the seed-row of 20 lb/ac P2O5 is fine (at SBU > 15%). The rest of the fertilizer (K or S, if testing low) must be placed away from the seed-row. Seeding depth should be 1.5-2 inches with a recommended population of 7-9 plants/ft2. Rolling is beneficial to improve harvestability and reduce earth tag.

Weed control as with many crops, is essential for maximum production. It is best to avoid fields which may have perennial, biennial or Group 2 resistant weeds. Depending on the weed species, a pre-emergent product e.g. Edge MicroActiv or pre-seed application e.g. Authority brands will go a long way to ensuring maximum yields. Post-emergent weed control products include Viper, Basagran, Odyssey, and Sencor.

Common diseases of peas include Mycosphaerella blight (Ascochyta), with sclerotinia (white mold) and downy mildew found less frequently. Selecting varieties that stand well and have some resistance is helpful. Most field pea varieties have good tolerance to powdery mildew. There are several registered foliar fungicides for field peas which are generally applied at early flower. Be sure to obtain disease-free seed and use a fungicide seed treatment to help establish your pea stand. A four-year rotation is recommended between pea crops.

Peas will generally be harvested early, so you can get a jump on harvest before your other crops are ready. Be sure to start with clean equipment as peas have an extremely low tolerance for soybeans in the sample. If required, several pre-harvest aids and desiccants are registered for peas (be sure to check with your processor to see which are acceptable, some processors may not accept any).

Are Peas for you? Please give your Shur-Gro agronomist a call and we can work through plans and budgets to decide if peas will become a part of your farming operation.

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