Intercropping grain peas with barley
OK-Net Arable Practice Abstract
Practical recommendations for exploring the viability of combining grain peas with barley on your farm.
Mixed crops of grain peas and barley can produce stable yields for protein production; with the risk of yield loss being reduced. Barley prevents pea lodging, reducing losses during threshing and increasing the quality of the harvested crop. The cereal crop also improves the soil cover, suppressing weeds. This practice abstract, produced as part of the Organic Knowledge Network (OK-Net) Arable project, provides some practical cultivation recommendations and some tips for carrying out a trial on your farm.
Findings & recommendations
- The seed bed should be not too fine-grained after cultivation or reduced tillage.
- For seeders with only a single tank, mix the seeds well at the ratio of 80% peas and 40% barley (relating to the standard sowing quantities of both crops) before filling the seeder. Until sowing, repeatedly check the homogeneity of the mixture, and for seeders with two or more tanks, apply the seeds of the mixture partners separately.
- Sow with a conventional seeder and with a row spacing of 12cm and a placement depth of 3 – 4 cm into the same or in separate rows (depending on the sowing technique).
- Weed control is not usually needed.
- If the method seems to be suitable for your farm, it is recommended that you test it under your own farm conditions.