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Small Grain-Pea Mixtures

Small grain-pea mixtures can be used as companion crops for establishing alfalfa, but may be too competitive for alfalfa-grass seedings. They can also be used as an emergency silage crop seeded solely for that purpose. If possible, shorter cultivars of small grains should be chosen for this mixture when used as companion crops, to reduce competition. Small grains are seeded at about 2 bushels/acre, and peas at about 4 pea seeds per square foot. Pea cultivars can differ greatly in pea size. If dry conditions are anticipated, seeding rates should be reduced if used as a companion crop with alfalfa. Peas will improve forage quality and palatability, and provide some N to the small grain crop, but will not increase overall yield.