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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #161081


item McPhee, Kevin
item Muehlbauer, Frederick

Submitted to: European Conference on Grain Legumes Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Mcphee, K.E., Miller, P., Chen, C., Muehlbauer, F.J. 2004. Adaptation of winter legumes to direct seeding in northern climates. In: Proceedings of European Conference on Grain Legumes, June 7-11, 2004, Dijon, France, p. 55.

Interpretive Summary: Winter legumes provide a viable alternative for growers to maintain sustainable crop production and improve farm productivity. Winter pea and lentil were shown to be well adapted to direct seeding and to have a significant yield advantage compared to spring cultivars. Tall stubble and early fall sowing were generally more favorable for seed production compared to short stubble and late fall sowing, respectively.

Technical Abstract: Dry peas (Pisum sativum L.) and lentils (Lens culinaris Medik.) serve important agronomic roles as rotational crops with cereal grains. Availability of winter hardy pea and lentil germplasm with high levels of tolerance to cold stress and overall winterhardiness has allowed breeders to begin developing winterhardy germplasm adapted to local growing conditions. The goal of this research was to evaluate the agronomic adaptation of current winter pea and lentil germplasm in direct seeding systems. Specific objectives were to: (1) determine the affect of stubble height on winter survival and seed yield, (2) evaluate the affect of early vs. late fall sowing on seed yield, and (3) determine the relative yield advantage of fall-sown winter pea and lentil compared to spring-sown pea and lentil cultivars.Tall stubble allowed greater snow capture at all locations and generally favored increased seed yield; however, significant differences were only detected for lentil at Genesee in 2002, pea at Amsterdam, MT in 2003 and lentil at Amsterdam in 2002 and 2003. Seed yield was greater for the early fall sowing date compared to the late fall sowing date for both pea and lentil. Fall-sown pea and lentil produced greater yield (37 and 40%, respectively) at the PNW locations; however, at the Montana locations the spring-sown cultivars showed a superior yield advantage compared to fall-sown pea and lentil (23 and 10%, respectively). Winter pea and lentil are adapted to production in direct seeding conditions and with improved winter hardiness and specific adaptation to intermountain climates are expected to overcome many current production constraints making these crops a viable alternative for producers in the northern climates.