Conservation Education, Cover Crops Series - Issue 2
What are spring peas planted?
Spring peas should be planted after April 15th when the ground reaches suitable temperatures.
Seeding rates vary depending on the seeding methods but should be within the 25 - 50lbs an acre range with broadcast seeding on the higher side at 45+ lbs an acre.
When drilled, spring peas should be seeded at a depth of one to two inches.
What are the growing conditions?
Spring peas are commonly used as a cover crop and alternative forage. It's seeded when the top one inch of the soil reaches 40 degrees or frost seeded, making it perfect for spring cover cropping. These peas will outgrow winter peas that are spring planted and provide up to 80lbs of Nitrogen when harvested midseason.
What are the benefits of spring peas as a cover crop?
Make for a great green manure crop due to the quick breakdown time of residue once stems are cut.
When used as a forage spring pea will provide high protein content and should be paired with other crop species to provide the animal with fiber and digestible energy.
Small grains including barley, rye, triticale, oats, and wheat are excellent partners for Spring Pea cover cropping and will increase organic matter content.
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