Identifying regionally adapted winter pea and faba bean genotypes that maximize grain and cover cropping potential
A field screening study of nineteen winter pea (Pisum sativum) genotypes and five faba bean (Vicia faba) genotypes was initiated at three research locations in North Carolina during October 2014. Winter pea genotypes are being screened in monoculture and in mixture with early, medium, and late maturing wheat varieties. Faba beans are being screed in monoculture. Field screening trials will occur over three growing seasons. Winter legume genotypes will be evaluated for use as grain, forage, and cover crops in the Southeastern USA, and results will catalyze cultivar release of regionally adapted winter legumes.
1. Conduct field screening trials to assess available winter pea and faba bean germplasm for genotypes that exhibit desirable attributes for use as grain, forage, and cover crops in the Southeastern USA.
2. Evaluate nutritive value and protein content for all genotypes to determine value as soybean replacers in livestock feed rations.
3. Catalyze the development and release of regionally adapted cultivars through the provision of recommendations on successful winter pea and faba bean genotypes.
Field studies were initiated in October 2014 to perform a regional field screen of winter pea and faba bean genotypes for use as grain, forage, and cover crops in the Southeastern USA. Eighteen winter pea genotypes, which have exhibited strong performance in other United States regions, were obtained from USDA-ARS grain legume geneticist, Dr. Rebecca McGee, who specializes in winter pea genetics. These pea genotypes were planted in monoculture, and in mixture with early, medium, and late maturing wheat varieties commonly planted in North Carolina. Five faba bean genotypes were also screed in monoculture for use as a potential winter legume crop in North Carolina. Faba bean genotypes were selected based on results from preliminary screening of faba bean germplasm in North Carolina which identified these five genotypes as promising for use in North Carolina. Field studies were established at three research locations throughout North Carolina. These research locations include the Caswell Research Station in Kinston, NC planted on October 6, 2014, the Central Crops Research Station in Clayton, NC planted on October 9, 2014, and the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury, NC planted on October 7, 2014. These locations were selected to span a range of growing conditions that could be experienced by farmers in the Southeastern USA. Necessary fertility and weed control applications were made.
Over the 2014-2015 winter legume growing season, data collection will include evaluations for cold tolerance, disease resistance, and maturity alignment with wheat varieties allowing for a simultaneously harvest. Due to limited seed availability in the 2014-2015 growing season, winter legume genotypes will only be evaluated for grain yield in this study year. Grain will be harvested from all treatments, and seed will be saved for subsequent research trials. The seed saved from the 2014-2015 winter legume screening trials will be used for the field screening trials that will occur during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 winter legume growing seasons. During these later trials, winter legume genotypes will be evaluated for use as grain, forage, and cover crops in the Southeastern USA.
Following the second year of research, a field day will occur in North Carolina where farmers will be invited to view field trials and promising winter legume genotypes. Following completion of field trials, results will be released to stakeholders in the Southeastern USA to catalyze cultivar development for use by farmers in the region. Extension publications will be released describing results from the experiment, and results will be published in a high-impact journal. Subsequent field trails will occur which investigate additional agronomic production practices of winter legumes that are of interest to farmers in Southeastern USA.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Impacts and contributions are limited at this point due to recent study initiation. Early field observations occurring closely following winter legume establishment in Fall 2014 indicate that many of the winter pea and faba bean genotypes included in this field screen experienced excellent germination in North Carolina growing conditions. Results from current and subsequent field screens will be necessary before reliable recommendations can be made on winter legume genotypes that have desirable growth attributes for use as grain, forage, and cover crops in the Southeastern USA.
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