Whilst good establishment is all about making sure that the seed bed is the right quality and drilling conditions are favourable, getting the nutrition of the crop right from the very start makes all the difference, says Mr Lamyman of Worlaby Farms, Lincolnshire.
This approach was confirmed in 2017 when his 8.23ha crop of LG Stallion, a large blue field pea yielded 6.47t/ha with an average of 15.35% moisture, breaking the previous Canadian world record of 6.32t/ha.
“One of the key lessons that I learnt from last year was that my instincts were right and targeting crop nutrition throughout the growing season was the secret to success. “
“I carried out regular tissue sampling throughout the season in order to really understand what nutrient levels were at different growth stages. What this showed up very clearly was that the crop was deficient in magnesium, Zinc and Copper early season.
“Peas have responded extremely well to mixtures of liquid fertiliser so I used a liquid fertiliser, 1-4-All by Bionature to balance these deficiencies. Boron and molybdenum were a major problem later on and I used the liquid product Rainbow Wave from Bionature to help with this.”
Manganese deficiency is normally an issue with field peas as well. However, levels within the crop last year were adequate for most of the growing period and Tim put this down to the plant being better able to utilise available manganese in the soil as a result of other key nutrients being applied to the crop as required.
He also believes that to help retain seed size and pod uniformity under stressful conditions, applying a liquid foliar feed of calcium and zinc such as in Bionature’s Calflux can make a real difference as when the plant experiences stress, it will draw calcium from the flowering nodes and this can lead to pods/flowers aborting.
“By ensuring the crop has available calcium at this key stage we retain the maximum number of pods per plant, with a bolder more even sample of peas. “
Just before flowering last year Tim trialled a new product, which contains high concentrations of P & K – TipTopPulse to help boost pod numbers and sizes. “On the two tram lines where this was sprayed it boosted the pea yield by over 0.5t/ha, and this year I will be applying it to the whole field.”
Peas in 2018
Being up on the Lincolnshire Wolds does mean that most of the fields at Worlaby Farms are undulating and have a high stone content. “I would be concerned about combining peas on these fields. I’m not prepared to compromise on this, so only grow peas on the more level fields even if it means I am growing fewer hectares than I would like.”
“This year’s pea crop is being drilled into an 8.25 ha field which is a grade 2 chalky loam that will give the peas the free draining soil that they like, and this is vital to allow for well-structured root development for better nutrient uptake.”
“The field has been left as stubble so I will go in with roundup before cultivations in March. Last year, the field was worked with the Lemken Terra Disc and the Vaardestad Carrier, drilled with Vaaderstad Rapid System Disc, rolled and sprayed pre-emergence with Nirvana (pendimethalin +imazamoz), which is the plan again this year.
“However, I will pay more attention to early aphid numbers as I did not control them early enough last year, and definelty lost yield as a result of this.”
“I will only drill this spring once conditions are favourable in April with a seed rate of 250kg/ha, aiming for about 85 plants/m2 and will use LG Stallion seed treated with Wakil XA +GPA – to give early downy mildew control and phosphite.”
“LG Stallion has shown a consistent yield advantage over other popular large blue varieties since being added to the recommended list and with its good agronomic characters it is a strong perfomer on farm as found by Tim Lamyman in his world record last year,” says George Hunter, pulses product manager with LG Stallion breeders, Limagrain UK.
“It has good colour retention and protein levels, making it suitable for the human consumption, micronizing, export and animal feed markets.”