2014 Peas – crop summary

Tasman Harvester Contractors dealing with wide pea maturity range - crop harvested early at average TR=91
Tasman Harvester Contractors dealing with wide pea maturity range – crop harvested early at average TR=91

With four of our paddocks in vining peas this spring, we keenly awaited the harvest. It came late, but still early . . .

High levels of damage in the more tender areas reduced yield
High levels of damage in the more tender areas reduced yield. Both lots from same sample and at same scale – peas on left mature, on right immature and damaged during harvest

All four paddocks were planted on 29 August by Patrick Nicolle using a 3m Great Plains drill. Significant damage done by pigeons at all stages from planting through germination and early growth. Tim Geuze implemented a bird management programme.

We plan to use Cosio covers on plots in paddocks in future, in part to assess the degree of bird damage we suffer.

We know from weather records that this spring was cold. FAR‘s Maize Action news shows that Hastings had only half the average Growing Degree Days from 15 September to mid-December. Cold weather means crops mature slowly, and we certainly saw a long period of flowering in the pea crops.

We did receive higher than average radiation – the factor that most drive biomass growth. And we did see good canopy development.

The paddocks received about 75mm of irrigation as four lots from the linear irrigator. HydroServices recommendations were based on neutron probe monitoring in P3 and P4. The data show that the paddocks used the same total amount of water but from different parts of the soil profile.

With drawn out flowering and cold temperatures, there was a wide spread of pod fill across and within the Paddocks. P3 and P4 continued flowering up until harvest. Some base pods were over optimum maturity (TR ~ 130) while others were only just beginning to fill.

An extended flowering period gave wide range in pea maturity - difficult for harvesters
An extended flowering period gave wide range in pea maturity – difficult for harvesters

The average results across all four paddocks were:

  • TR 91
  • Net Weight 11.040 t
  • Deductions (%) 4.6 %
  • Paid Weight 10.532 t
  • Paid Weight 4.713 t/ha

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