2017 Field Pea Variety Trial Results

Figure 1. Field peas are mature and ready to harvest in this variety trial plot near Grant.
Figure 1. Field peas are mature and ready to harvest in this variety trial plot near Grant. (Photos by David Ostdiek)

2017 Field Pea Variety Trial Results October 19, 2017

Results of the 2017 field pea variety trials conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been posted to CropWatch.

The pea trials consisted of seven plots with up to 25 varieties at each location. Locations included Scotts Bluff County irrigated and dryland, Box Butte County dryland, Cheyenne County dryland, Lincoln County dryland, Perkins County dryland, and Webster County dryland.

Information for each variety at each site, lists

  • yield (listed according to rank);
  • test weight;
  • information on flowering and plant height; and
  • other information about the growing season and production practices at each location.

Dipak Santra, alternative crops breeding specialist at the university’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, coordinated the variety trials, as well as a series of variety plot tours last summer.

Pea varieties planted in the trials could be grouped into several categories, Santra explained. The first group consists of older, robust lines that produce consistent yields, but aren’t the highest-yielding lines. Examples include DS-Admiral, SW Midas, Jetset, and Spider.

Dipak Santra
Dipak Santra

The next group includes newer varieties with a slightly higher yield. It will take a couple years to see how robust and consistent their yield will be, Santra said. These varieties include AC Earlystar, Mystique, Salamanca, and Nette 2010 (marketed as Nette). Certified seed of these varieties will be available in 2018.

Finally, several new lines were planted that are not yet producing certified seed in Nebraska, but look promising. Seed for these varieties, including Durwood and CDC Saffron, should be available within a couple years.

Santra said interest in growing peas continues to increase among farmers. He estimated that close to 100,000 acres were planted in 2017, and the growing area has expanded eastward to the Lexington-Holdrege area in south-central Nebraska.

Results for several years of variety trials of dry beans and peas are listed there, along with results for oats, proso millet, and sunflower. Dry bean variety trial results are expected to be posted this winter after UNL crews have finished harvest, sorting and cleaning, and analyzed the data.

The pea variety trial sites included UNL plots at the Panhandle Research Extension Center, the UNL High Plains Ag Lab, and the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, as well as on farms of cooperating growers. Santra acknowledged help and cooperation of Steve Tucker (Perkins County), Brad Hansen (Box Butte County), and Tim Engelhardt (Webster County). Several of the locations hosted field days in June.

Pea variety trial field day
Figure 2. Farmers line the borders of field pea variety plots in June during the open house at the university's High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney.

Reports for each site were compiled by Santra. The pea variety testing project is a collaborative program among several UNL specialists, educators, and staffs. Santra recognized contributions from

Rodrigo Werle, Nebraska Extension dryland cropping systems specialist at the WCREC; John Thomas, Nebraska Extension cropping systems educator in Box Butte County; Strahinja Stepanovic, Nebraska Extension cropping systems educator in Perkins, Chase and Dundy counties; and research technicians Allison Rickey, Vernon Florke, and Liberty Butts.

Variety trial information will also be shared at production meetings this winter, Santra said.