21 July 1995

Frosted but winter peas do well

WINTER peas look to have fared well again in trials at the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO). But late frosts revealed the scope for cold weather damage.

Over-wintering crops caught frosts at flowering in mid-March. Plots sown in late October suffered most, letting bacterial blight take hold. "It was only the subsequent dry weather that dried the disease up," said the PGROs Steve Belcher.

Despite the set-back, first indications from plots harvested last week show that the early sown plots still matured first. They averaged 17-18% moisture, compared with 23-24% for plots drilled in early December, noted Mr Belcher.

Once again, winter-sown spring types succumbed to pigeon damage. Like winter peas they survived the winter, but earlier podding resulted in pigeons "destroying" over-wintered Solara, Orb and Baccarar. Winter lines Rafale, Blizzard and 440AF, plus spring type Progreta, were left "completely alone".

Steve Belcher trials officer at the Processors and Growers Research Organisation

reckons winter peas have done well again.