Agronomy and Horticulture Department
Date of this Version
Koeshall, S. T., Easterly, A. C., Werle, R., Stepanovic, S., & Creech, C. F. (2022). Replacing fallow with field Pea in wheat production systems across western Nebraska. Agronomy Journal, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.21194
Integration of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) (FP) into dryland cropping systems has increased due to ecological and economic benefits, paired with a growing market for pea-derived products. Challenges exist in the High Plains that limit the integration of crop rotations to replace fallow periods with FP in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)- based systems. This experiment compares chemical summer fallow to FP in a fallow– wheat rotation at two locations in western Nebraska. Soil water content, soil fertility, N mineralization, FP yield, and subsequent hard red winter wheat (HWW) yields were recorded. Subsequent HWW yields were not different between crop sequences (P = .42). The interaction of site-year with crop sequence explained the HWW yield differences (P = .0005), mostly due to precipitation variability among site-years. Most soil parameters tested only showed a main effect of date due to temporal changes in soil nutrient cycling. Replacing summer fallow with FP resulted in reduced soil water content, however, that did not result in long-term moisture deficiency due to crop sequence type. System annualized gross revenue was equal to or greater for 2 site-years for FP compared with fallow, with an average increase of US$113.15 ha–1. Pea–wheat reduced annualized net losses in 1 site-year by $70 ha–1 compared with fallow–wheat in the "average" pricing model. Among 3 site-years and three pricing models, pea–wheat resulted in greater net profit or reduced net losses compared with fallow–wheat in 5 site-year comparisons.
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