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Field pea

Field pea, or pelyushka, (Pisum arvense) is a forage crop related to annual legumes.

Economic importance

Field pea is a valuable fodder crop. For fodder purposes, green mass, grain, chaff, straw are used. The green mass is distinguished by good palatability by animals, it is used for harvesting fodder for the winter (hay, haylage, silage).

Green mass contains 23.6% protein in terms of dry weight, hay – 18.5%, seeds – 21.9%. 1 kg of seeds of the variety Falenskaya 40 contains 18.4-18.9 g of lysine, as well as methionine, cystine and tryptophan.

Cultivation areas

As a fodder crop, it is cultivated in the countries of Western Asia and the Mediterranean Sea.

In Russia, field peas are cultivated mainly in the forest-steppe and forest zones of the European part. Due to its precocity, this crop can be grown in the northern regions: Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kirov, where spring vetch does not have time to ripen for seeds. In the Non-Chernozem zone, it is considered the best stubble crop.

Botanical description

Field pea (Pisum arvense L.) is an annual, spring or winter plant. Often ranked as the same species as the common pea.

The root system is pivotal, penetrates into the subsoil.

The stem is thin, green, may have anthocyanin coloration, 50-200 cm long.

The leaves are pinnate with narrow toothed stipules, consisting of 2-3 pairs of leaflets. Most of the stipules are larger than the leaves and are colored red due to the presence of anthocyanin.

Flowers are located in the axils of the leaves, 1-2. Corollas purple-red, dark red, purple or light pink. Self-pollination predominates.

The fruit is a multi-seeded bean. Seeds are round-angular or oval in shape, smooth, usually with slight depressions. Seeds are gray, brown, gray-green, marbled, sometimes black with stripes, speckles or spots. The mass of 1000 seeds of small-seeded varieties is 80-120 g, medium-seeded – 130-160 g, large-seeded – 170-200 g.

Biological features

Heat requirements

Undemanding to heat. Seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 1-2 °C, uniform seedlings appear at 6-8 °C. Seedlings tolerate frosts down to -6…-7 °C, sometimes up to -13 °C. The optimum temperature for growth and development is 15-18 °C.

Moisture requirements

Field peas are a moisture-loving crop, no less demanding than sowing peas. The greatest water consumption falls on the period from budding to mass flowering.

Light requirements

Long day plant.

Soil requirements

Undemanding to soils. Water-permeable, medium cohesion, non-acidic, non-alkaline and non-waterlogged soils are suitable. Grows on sandy, peaty soils. Do not fit damp and marshy.


The vegetation period when sown on seeds is 85-100 days, on hay or green fodder – 45-55 days.

Flowering of early ripening varieties begins 35-50 days after sowing.


It is usually grown as a fallow crop in a busy fallow after grain and tilled crops, in cutting and stubble crops.

It serves as a good precursor for various non-legumes such as cereals and potatoes .

When using field peas as a stubble crop, it is necessary to quickly cultivate the soil after harvesting the main crop and sow the mixture. Stubble crops of pea-oat mixture make it possible to obtain 12.0-16.1 t/ha of green mass (All-Russian Research Institute of Fodder, Turskaya agricultural experimental station). At the Dedinovskaya Experimental Station for floodplain meadow farming, the All-Russian Research Institute of Forage, field peas mixed with oats, sown after harvesting early vegetable crops, made it possible to obtain 22.3 t/ha of green mass. The yield of pea-oat mixture after rye, harvested for silage and green fodder, gave 18.2 t/ha of green mass (Belarusian Research Institute of Farming).


Before sowing field peas, 30-40 t/ha of manure is applied to the fallow , while the yield of green mass increases to 5 t/ha.

As well as other legumes, it responds well to the application of phosphorus and potash fertilizers. In autumn, phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied at a rate of 60 kg/ha of a.i.


The processing is the same as for the sowing vetch.


The seeding rate when cultivated for green fodder or hay mixed with oats is 220 kg/ha of pelushka seeds, or 1.4 million/ha, and 65-70 kg/ha of oat seeds.

When grown for green fodder, sowing is carried out – in 2-3 terms after 7-20 days. Sowing depth 3-4 cm.

Good results are obtained when sowing field peas with sunflower and annual ryegrass . The seeding rate is 150 kg/ha of pelushka seeds and 20-25 kg/ha of sunflower or 20 kg/ha of ryegrass seeds. The method of sowing is continuous row. The yield of green mass is 13-22% higher than that of the pea-oat mixture (Turk Experimental Station, Belarus).


Harvesting for green fodder is started at the beginning of flowering, for hay – 10 days after flowering – the beginning of fruit formation.

Growing for seeds

When grown for seeds in a mixture with oats, the seeding rate is 140-160 kg/ha of pelushka seeds, or 0.8-1.0 million/ha of seeds, and 50-60 kg/ha of oats.

For seeds, it can be grown in a mixture with white mustard, the seeding rate of mustard seeds is 5-7 kg/ha.

Seed peas are sown at the earliest possible date.

Techniques for controlling pests and diseases are similar to those used in crops of peas.

The main pests are: pea weevil and aphids, gray beet weevil, alfalfa cutworm caterpillar, meadow moth.

The main diseases of pelushka include ascochitosis, white rot, fusarium, peronosporosis, rust, and powdery mildew.

To combat pests and diseases, preference is given to agrotechnical methods: crop rotation, tillage, fertilization, weed control, selection of resistant varieties. Of the chemical measures, seed dressing is used.

Harvesting for seeds begins when 75-80% of the beans are ripe, usually in a separate way. Sometimes a direct combination is used. Delay in harvesting causes large losses in seed yield.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

V.V. Kolomeichenko. Crop production / Textbook. — M.: Agrobusinesscenter, 2007. — 600 p. ISBN 978-5-902792-11-6.