Evaluation of southern peas as cash cover crop in Pennsylvania

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2008: $5,399.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Michael Byers
Demeter's Garden

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: sorghum (milo)
  • Vegetables: peas (culinary)


  • Crop Production: crop rotation, cover crops, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    Cover crops like hairy vetch fix nitrogen but produce no income, and commercial organic fertilizers are expensive. The farmer wants to test whether southern peas will complement his sweet sorghum syrup operation. Field rotations with the nitrogen-fixing legumes, sufficient for the following sorghum, may also enhance income if the peas can be sold as a cash crop. Three varieties will be tested for growth, yield, market acceptance, and nitrogen availability, and outreach will be through growers’ newsletters, a farm tour, and workshops.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.