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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350966

Research Project: Development of Ecologically-Sound Pest, Water and Soil Management Practices for Northern Great Plains Cropping Systems

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Dryland pea productivity and soil water responses to tillage, crop rotation, and weed management practice

Author
item Lenssen, Andrew - Iowa State University
item Sainju, Upendra
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Allen, Brett
item Stevens, William - Bart

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2018
Publication Date: 6/21/2018
Citation: Lenssen, A.W., Sainju, U.M., Jabro, J.D., Allen, B.L., Stevens, W.B. 2018. Dryland pea productivity and soil water responses to tillage, crop rotation, and weed management practice. Agronomy Journal. 110(5):1-11. https://doi.10.2134/agronj2018.03.0182.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.03.0182

Interpretive Summary: Management practices to increase pea yield and soil water use in dryland cropping systems are lacking. Researchers at ARS, Sidney, MT evaluated the effects of tillage, crop rotation, and weed management practice on dryland pea growth, yield, and soil water use for six years. They found that pea growth and yield as well as soil water use increased with decreased frequency of pea in rotation with nonlegumes and increased seeding rate and wheat stubble height that reduced weed growth. Tillage has no effect on pea yield and soil water use. They recommended that no-till with enhanced length of crop rotation with nonlegumes and increased seeding rate and wheat stubble height can be used to increase dryland pea production and efficient water use in arid and semiarid regions.

Technical Abstract: Pulse crops, such as dry pea (Pisum sativum L.), have been increasingly used to sustain dryland crop productivity by eliminating fallow in arid and semiarid regions because of their greater N fixation and lower water requirement compared to cereals, but management practices to enhance their growth and yields are lacking. The objective of this study was to evaluate dry pea growth, yield, and water use in response to tillage, crop rotation, and weed management practice from 2005 to 2010 in the northern Great Plains, USA. Tillage systems were no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) and crop rotations were spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-pea (W-P), spring wheat-forage barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.)-pea (W-B-P), and spring wheat-forage barley-corn (Zea mays L.)-pea (W-B-C-P). Weed management practices were traditional (conventional seeding rates, early planting, broadcast N fertilization, and reduced stubble height) and improved (variable seeding rates, delayed planting, banded N fertilization, and increased stubble height). Pea plant stand and height and grain and biomass yields were greater with CT than NT in 2005 and greater with the improved than the traditional practice in most years, but height varied among rotations in various years. Grain and biomass yields and water-use efficiency (WUE) were greater with W-B-P and W-B-C-P than W-P in most years. Seed number/pod, seed weight, pod number, harvest index, preplant and postharvest soil water content, and water use varied among crop rotations, tillage systems, and weed management practices in various years. Pea yield and WUE increased with decreased frequency of pea in rotation with nonlegumes and the improved cultural practice due to enhanced plant stand and height and pod number as a result of greater soil water availability, higher seeding rate, and/or increased stubble height of spring wheat. Tillage had no effect on pea production. Pea growth, yield, and WUE can be enhanced by using enhanced diversified crop rotations and by increasing seeding rate and wheat stubble height.