Dual Use Winter Vegetable Peas: Examining the Viability of Double Cropping in Zone 4

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $29,804.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: University of Vermont
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Eric Bishop-von Wettberg
University of Vermont


  • Vegetables: peas (culinary)


  • Crop Production: cover crops, crop rotation, cropping systems, double cropping, no-till
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, soil stabilization
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    A partnership of a UVM research team and Bone Mountain Farm will examine the potential of winter tolerant vegetable peas to allow double cropping at the coldest fringes of Vermont's Champlain Valley.  If successful, overwinter peas may allow many farmers to benefit from the ecological services of a winter legume cover crop, while also benefitting from a wintercash crop, all without impacting summer cropping operations.  A two year field trial will examine overwinter survival under several cropping alternatives, such as intercropping with a winter cereal and fencing.  Interviews will examine obstacles to adopting overwinter peas, from seed cost and available to operational hurdles and timing of planting and harvests, to market limitations.  By tracking costs and sales, we will be able to determine possible economic consequences of adopting winter vegetable peas, and integrate different potential payments for the ecosystem services they provide, such as nitrogen fixation.  Outreach from the project through conference presentations, field days, Extension publications and social media, will focus on regional farmers, particularly those on farms that do not currently cover crop due to seed costs, operational interference, or other barriers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Evaluate Austrian winter pea forage-type cultivars against new developed cultivars on a high elevation farm at the edge of zone four in the Champlain Valley.
    2. Identify any incidence other than cold stress that may significantly hinder the production of winter peas in the trial ecological region.
    3. Find ways to deal with barriers that limit winter pea uptake by integrating winter pea production with minimal interference on the existing production plan of our Collaborative Farmer.
    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.