Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406352

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

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Pea growth, yield, and quality affected by nitrogen fertilization to previous crop in small grain-pea rotations

Author
item Sainju, Upendra
item PRADHAN, GAUTAM - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2024
Publication Date: 5/10/2024
Citation: Sainju, U.M., Pradhan, G. 2024. Pea growth, yield, and quality affected by nitrogen fertilization to previous crop in small grain-pea rotations. Agronomy Journal. 2024:1-12. https://doi: 10.1002/agj2.21589.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.21589

Interpretive Summary: Pea is being increasingly used to replace fallow in the conventional cropping system of small grain-fallow to enhance the sustainability of the cropping system in the northern Great Plains of the United States. Nitrogen fertilizer is usually applied to small grains, but not to pea because pea can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere in small grain-pea rotations. The soil residual nitrogen left after harvest of small grains can affect pea production, but little research has been done to evaluate the effect of soil residual nitrogen on pea growth, yield, and quality. An ARS researcher in Sidney, MT, in collaboration with North Dakota State University, evaluated the long-term (2007-2019) effect of soil residual nitrogen under small grains on pea performance. They reported that increased soil residual N content increased pea yield without affecting protein concentration, although increased soil residual N content did decrease pea test weight. This research demonstrated that producers can enhance pea yield without affecting quality by using the recommended rates of nitrogen fertilizer on small grains in the northern Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: Starter N fertilization at low rates may enhance pea (Pisum sativum L.) performance, but little information exists about the effect of N fertilization rate to previous crop (NRPC)on peag rowth, yield, and quality in small grain–pea rotations. We examined the effect of N fertilization rates to barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on succeeding pea growth, yield, and quality in barley–pea and spring wheat–pea rotations from 2006 to 2019 in the semiarid environment of US northern Great Plains. We measured pea plant density, straw and grain yields, harvest index, straw N concentration, grain protein concentration, grain test weight, straw and grain N uptake, and N harvest index. In the barley–pea rotation, pea grain yield increased within creased NRPC. Grain test weight was greater without than with NRPC in 2008 and 2009. In the spring wheat–pea rotation, straw yield was greater for50than0kgNha-1 of NRPCin2014, 2018, and 2019. Grain yield and N uptake were greater with than without NRPC in 2014, 2015, and 2019, but grain test weight varied with NRPC and year. Plant density, harvest index, straw N concentration, grain protein concentration, straw N uptake, and N harvest index varied with year in both barley–pea and spring wheat–pea rotations. Nitrogen fertilization to barley or spring wheatcanenhancesucceedingpeagrainyieldandNuptakeduringyearswithnormal growing season precipitation in barley–pea and spring–wheat pea rotations in the semiarid region of the US northern Great Plains.