10 July 1998

Whole-crop pea idea

GROWING peas as a forage crop with barley and harvesting it as a whole-crop is more successful with modern pea varieties which have good standing ability and let light down into the crop, according to Gordon Newman of the Maize Growers Association.

The aim of growing peas for whole-crop is to produce a high value, palatable feed with more protein than a cereal whole-crop, which could be cut when peas were at the mange tout stage, he said.

The proportion of peas to barley for harvesting as whole-crop may vary for different growers, in different regions, he added. Three combinations were on display – 80% peas and 20% barley; 60% peas and 40% barley; and 40% peas and 60% barley; the first most suitable for light land, the last best in wet areas.

Mr Newman believed wet areas would find growing a higher proportion of barley most beneficial, whereas on light land a higher proportion of peas could be grown.