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Open AccessArticle

Faba Bean and Pea Can Provide Late-Fall Forage Grazing without Affecting Maize Yield the Following Season

1
Department of Soil Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA
2
Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010080
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 30 December 2019 / Accepted: 31 December 2019 / Published: 6 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cropping Systems)
Faba bean (Vicia faba Roth) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) are grown worldwide as protein sources for food and feed and can be used as cover crops after wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). However, faba bean is underutilized in upper Midwest farming systems. This study was conducted to determine how faba bean relates to pea as a forage, cover crop, and in cycling of nutrients to maize (Zea mays L.) in the following season. Five faba bean cultivars and two pea cultivars, a forage pea and a field pea, were established after wheat harvest in North Dakota, in 2017 and 2018. Faba bean and pea cultivars averaged 1.3 Mg ha−1 of biomass, enough to support 1.5 animal unit month (AUM) ha−1 for a 450 kg cow (Bos taurus L.) with calf, at 50% harvest efficiency. Crude protein content was highest in faba bean cv. Boxer (304 g kg−1), with faba bean cv. Laura and forage pea cv. Arvika having similar content, and field pea having the least (264 g kg−1). Cover crop treatments did not affect maize in the following year, indicating no nutrient cycling from faba bean and pea to maize. Both cover crop species tested provided high protein forage, suitable for late grazing, with a more fibrous crop residue. Faba bean has potential as a cover crop in the upper Midwest while providing greater quality forage than pea. View Full-Text
Keywords: faba bean; forage pea; fall grazing; cover crop; catch crop; nutrient cycling faba bean; forage pea; fall grazing; cover crop; catch crop; nutrient cycling
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Andersen, B.J.; Samarappuli, D.P.; Wick, A.; Berti, M.T. Faba Bean and Pea Can Provide Late-Fall Forage Grazing without Affecting Maize Yield the Following Season. Agronomy 2020, 10, 80.

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