Farmers throughout the Corn Belt may want to consider diversifying traditional corn and soybean rotations to increase agronomic sustainability and to spread financial risks associated with low market prices of corn and soybean. An alternative is a more diverse crop rotation using field pea (short-season grain crop) followed by cover crops, forages, or short-season crops (Figure 1).
A research project in eastern Nebraska is evaluating a double crop production system as a potential alternative to the traditional corn/soybean rotation. Following an early season crop of yellow field peas, short-season crops (corn, soybean, grain sorghum, millet and sunflower) and annual forages (forage sorghum and sorghum-Sudangrass) were planted.
How much will yellow field pea affect soil fertility and soil water content when replacing fallow in a wheat-corn-fallow rotation? This article from the 2019 Crop Production Clinic Proceedings.reports on 2018 research to address this question.