Scientific Cultivation of Pea

Scientific Cultivation of Pea – A Comprehensive Guide

Pea (Pisum sativum) is a versatile crop that holds immense importance in Indian agriculture, being consumed both as a fresh vegetable and a dried pulse. Its cultivation requires a systematic approach to ensure optimal growth and yield. This essay provides a detailed guide to scientifically cultivating peas, covering various aspects from climatic requirements to pest management.

Varieties of Field Pea

Several varieties of field peas are available, each with its own unique characteristics and suitability for different regions:

Field peas (Pisum sativum) are an important cool-season legume crop grown for their edible seeds. They are rich in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, making them a valuable food source. Several varieties of field peas are available, each with its own unique characteristics and suitability for different regions. Here are some popular varieties:

  1. T-163: T-163 is a medium-tall variety, reaching a height of 100-120cm. It has double pods, maturing in 110-120 days. T-163 yields around 10-11 q/ha. The light green pods are 7-8 cm long, with 5-6 seeds per pod.
  2. Boneville: Boneville is similar to T-163 but is primarily used as a vegetable pea. It matures in 110-120 days and yields approximately 10-12 q/ha. The pods are straight and light green, with around 8-9 pods per plant.
  3. HUP-2: HUP-2 is a tall variety, reaching a height of 130-140 cm. It is semi-spreading and semi-leafless, maturing in 115-125 days. HUP-2 is known for its high yield potential, producing around 13-15 q/ha. It is resistant to powdery mildew and downy mildew.
  4. KFPD 1: KFPD 1 is a dwarf variety, with plants reaching a height of 50-60 cm. It matures early, in 100-105 days, and has a high yield potential of 18-20 q/ha. Although susceptible to powdery mildew, KFPD 1 often escapes the disease due to its early maturity.
  5. Rachna: Rachna is a tall variety, reaching a height of 135-138 cm. It matures in 120-125 days and yields approximately 10-12 q/ha. Rachna is known for its tolerance to powdery mildew, making it a popular choice in areas where this disease is prevalent.
  6. These varieties demonstrate the diversity of field peas and their adaptability to different growing conditions. Farmers can choose the variety that best suits their needs based on factors such as yield potential, disease resistance, and maturity period, ensuring a successful pea crop harvest.

Climatic Requirements

Peas require a cool growing season, with moderate temperatures being essential throughout the growth period. The optimum temperature range for pea cultivation is between 13-18°C. Peas are sensitive to high temperatures, especially during flowering and pod development, which can adversely affect yield and quality.

In regions where summers are hot, peas are typically grown as a winter or spring crop to avoid the heat. In cooler climates, peas can be grown as a summer crop, but they still require moderate temperatures to thrive.

Peas are also sensitive to frost, especially during flowering and pod development. Early maturing varieties are often preferred in areas where frost is a concern to ensure a successful harvest before the onset of cold weather.

Proper soil preparation and moisture management are crucial for successful pea cultivation. Peas prefer well-drained, sandy loam soils rich in organic matter. Excessive moisture can lead to diseases such as root rot, while water stress can affect yield and quality.

Peas are typically sown directly into the soil, either in single or double rows, depending on the variety and spacing requirements. They are shallow-rooted plants and benefit from regular watering, especially during flowering and pod development.

Soil Requirements

Peas can indeed be grown in various types of soil, but they thrive best in deep, well-drained sandy loam soil. Sandy loam soil offers the right balance of drainage and moisture retention, which is crucial for pea growth and development.

Sandy loam soil has a good structure that allows roots to penetrate easily and access nutrients and water. It also provides good aeration, which is essential for root respiration. Additionally, sandy loam soil warms up quickly in the spring, which is beneficial for early planting and germination of peas.

While peas can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and silt, they may not perform as well in these soils due to poor drainage and aeration. In clay soil, for example, water drainage can be slow, leading to waterlogging and root rot. In contrast, sandy soil drains too quickly, leading to dryness and nutrient leaching.

To improve soil conditions for pea cultivation, farmers can add organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to enhance soil structure, moisture retention, and nutrient content. Soil testing is also recommended to assess nutrient levels and pH, ensuring optimal growing conditions for peas.

Liming

After conducting a soil test to determine its pH level, lime should be applied at least 21 days before sowing to bring the pH to around 6.0.

Time of Sowing

The optimum time for sowing peas is mid-October, ensuring that the soil is adequately prepared and the weather conditions are favorable.

Field Preparation

Proper field preparation is essential for pea cultivation. The field should be plowed 3-4 times to obtain a good tilth, which is crucial for healthy plant growth.

Seed Rate

The seed rate varies depending on the variety:

  • T-163: 50 kg/ha or 7 kg/bigha
  • Boneville: 60 kg/ha or 8 kg/bigha
  • HUP-2: 65 kg/ha or 8.5 kg/bigha
  • KFPD-1: 77 kg/ha or 10 kg/bigha

Relay Cropping of Pea

Peas can be grown as a relay crop with rice, with seeds broadcasted in the standing rice crop about 15-20 days before harvest, provided the soil is moist.

Seed Treatment

Before sowing, seeds should be treated with carbendazim or benomyl at 2 g/kg of seed, or captan or thiram at 3 g/kg of seed.

Spacing

Seeds should be sown in lines at a spacing of 30 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants to ensure optimal growth and yield.

Fertility Management

To improve soil fertility, compost or farmyard manure should be applied at a rate of 4-5 t/ha or 6 q/bigha.

Nutrient Requirement

The nutrient requirement varies based on whether Rhizobium culture is used:

  • Without Rhizobium culture: N (20 kg/ha), P2O5 (46 kg/ha)
  • With Rhizobium culture: N (10 kg/ha), P2O5 (46 kg/ha)

Weed Control

To control weeds, fluchloralin 45% EC should be used as a pre-emergence spray one day before sowing, incorporated into the soil with light hoeing.

Irrigation

If required and available, one irrigation should be given at 40-50 days after sowing to ensure proper moisture levels for plant growth.

Harvesting

Peas should be harvested when 75-80% of the pods turn yellow, indicating that they are ready for harvesting.

Plant Protection

  • Insect Pests: Use Dichlorovos (Nuvan 100 EC) for pod borer and Malathion (Malathion 50 EC) for leaf miner and aphid.
  • Disease: Use Carbendazim (Bavistin) or Captan or Thiram for wilt, and Mancozeb (Dithane-M-45/Zeb-N-45) for rust. Spray as soon as the disease appears.

Storage Pest Protection

To protect seeds against bruchid infestation during storage, mix thoroughly dried seeds with black pepper seed powder at 3g/kg of seed.

By following these guidelines for scientifically cultivating peas, farmers can improve their yields and produce high-quality peas for both local consumption and commercial purposes.