Identifying regionally adapted winter pea and faba bean genotypes that maximize grain and cover cropping potential
Field screening trials of nineteen winter pea (Pisum sativum) genotypes and five faba bean (Vicia faba) genotypes were installed at three research locations in North Carolina during October 2014 and October 2015. The winter pea genotypes are being screened for multiple end uses including use as a grain, forage, and cover crop. Winter pea is being screened in monoculture and in mixture with barley, oats, and wheat for the different end uses. Faba beans are being screened in monoculture. Results will catalyze cultivar release of regionally adapted winter legumes for the Southeastern USA.
- 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 Southeast.
- Evaluate nutritive value and protein content for all genotypes to determine value as soybean replacers in livestock feed rations.
- Catalyze the development and release of regionally adapted cultivars through the provision of recommendations on successful winter pea and faba bean genotypes.
Field studies evaluating winter pea and faba bean genotypes for use as a grain crop in the Southeast were installed at three research locations in North Carolina during October 2014. These locations included Clayton, Kinston, and Salisbury, North Carolina. The winter peas were screened in monoculture and in mixture with early, medium, and late maturing wheat. The faba beans were screened in monoculture. These plots were assessed visually throughout the growing season for cold tolerance, disease, biomass production, growth habit, and maturity. A NRCS field day presentation was made in Salisbury, North Carolina at the Piedmont Research Station on April 28, 2015. These plots were harvested during June 2015 with a small plot research combine. Grain yield data was obtained and grain samples were processed for use as a seed source in the subsequent trials. These yield results provided preliminary data which can be combined with the yield data from our trials in 2015-2016 to provide robust yield estimates of winter pea genotype performance in the Southeast. This data informed results which were presented at the American Society of Agronomy Meeting in Minneapolis, MN in November 2015. A poster presentation was provided by Rachel Atwell entitled ‘Identifying regionally adapted winter pea genotypes that maximize grain, forage, and cover crop potential’ at this meeting.
A second field study was initiated during October 2015 focused on specifically screening winter pea for use as a forage and cover crop in the Southeast. This trial was installed in Clayton and Kinston, North Carolina. Winter peas are being screened for forage and cover crop use in monoculture and in mixture with oats, barley, and wheat. Data collected includes cold tolerance, disease pressure, performance in mixture, biomass across various pea growth stages, forage and cover crop quality.
A field day presentation was made on April 21, 2016 at the Piedmont Research Station in North Carolina at the small grains field day. An article was released on the North Carolina Organic Grains Project website entitled “Identifying regionally adapted winter pea varieties for use as grain, forage, and cover crops” which distributed information to growers on project progress and results so far.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
There were several growers who expressed interest in winter pea for the different end uses following field presentations. Impacts and contributions are limited to this point due to necessity of more data before recommendations can be made. 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. Following completion of field trials, results will be released to stakeholders in the Southeastern USA in hopes 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.
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