July 02, 2018
Pea: an alternative to enhance the sequence of crops in the core area
Pea: an alternative to enhance the sequence of crops in the core area An INTA expert assures that the yield of soybeans grows by 25% when the legume is the predecessor and in the case of maize, an additional 2,000 kilos are obtained per hectare.

In a historic wheat campaign, which will occupy a record area of ​​6.1 million hectares, it seems interesting to hear a different voice reminiscent of the complementary role of pea, which individually can not compete with the grain margin but which power the rotation and achieves a very interesting profitability -for its advantages as a predecessor crop- in the sequence with soybean or corn.

"We have measured that soy yields 25% more when the previous crop was the pea and in the case of corn yields increase between 2,000 and 2,500 kilos per hectare," said Gabriel Prieto, in dialogue with Clarín Rural. He is an INTA legume expert and head of the INTA extension agency in Arroyo Seco (Santa Fe).

The pea as ancestor has two important advantages: the first, which consumes less water than wheat (60% of what the cereal uses) and leaves the second meter of the soil profile with all the water available for corn, for example . "The other advantage is that the balance of nitrogen that remains after the pea, compared to wheat, is less negative," said the INTA specialist.

Then, the legume leaves more water and nitrogen to the corn and in the case of soybeans - in addition to these two advantages - we must also add that it allows to anticipate the sowing date of the oilseed between 15 and 25 days. These are the arguments that explain the yield differential that is achieved in the summer crop.

Those who dare to try still have time. The window of sowing of the pea begins in a week in the core zone (lentil, another legume that offers these advantages, has already begun to be implanted).

"In the south and southeast of Buenos Aires, the pea has a really high potential because it allows the inclusion of a more successful summer crop than wheat, by releasing the batch before," Prieto insisted.

In order to demonstrate these advantages to producers, in the province of Buenos Aires, the Buenos Aires Ministry of Agribusiness will carry out tests in four farms, which are located in locations such as Chascomus, Miramar and Coronel Suarez, among others.

"The same thing I say for pea is valid for chickpea and lentil, but there are some difficulties. In the case of lentils, the market is much more restricted and in the chickpea the problem is that in the core area there are two diseases that complicate: fusariosis and rabies. Therefore, this vegetable is sown in safer regions, such as the north center of Córdoba and Salta" said the specialist.

In the medium term, the pea will have new materials that are being developed based on an agreement between INTA and the National University of Rosario (UNR).

"The cultivars are in the phase of volume expansion in the INTA Oliveros to later be enrolled in the Inase. The idea is to obtain green varieties, which can satisfy the demand of certain markets; for example, Brazil, "said Prieto. The goal is to make them commercially available for the 2019/20 campaign.

The idea of ​​adding pulses to the rotation means diversifying and intensifying the traditional approach to crop sequences, which is usually focused on the rotation of wheat - soybeans and then on maize (these are three crops in two years).

"With the pea, you can make five crops in four years, from the sequence wheat - soybean, peas - corn, and finally soybean first, with a higher rate of intensification," concluded Prieto. He also said that for several campaigns there are important players such as AFA, ACA and Los Grobo that participate in the market of pulses, which gives greater security to the commercialization.

Published by:
Clarín Rural. By Gastón Neffen. PH: Grupo Los Grobo.
Automatic translation from spanish.

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