Secada peas, mixed with cereals, makes excellent silage. A study comparing Pea/Wheat silage with grass silage showed a 34% increase in forage dry matter intake, resulting in a 19% increase in milk production. Silage is normally cut at the late pod-swell stage for highest yields with the greatest nutrient concentration.
Secada peas, in combination with oats, awnless wheat, or beardless barley, makes excellent greenchop. Added to a dairy or beef ration, increased dry matter intake will increase milk production and weight gain.
Secada peas can be grazed by most livestock species. Strip grazing will maximize utilization of the crop. With relatively high tanin content, peas are less likely to cause bloat than other legumes, but animals should be introduced to the forage gradually, as with any change of feed.
Secada peas are an excellent choice for wildlife food plots. Sown in the early spring, highly palatable forage is available for the energy and protein needs of developing antlers and milking does. Turkey and quail love the soft, tender leaves. Sown in early fall, especially with oats or ryegrass, Secada peas will make fence-jumpers of all your neighbors' deer.
Secada peas alone: 25-30 lbs/acre
Secada peas/oats: 15 lbs/acre peas
35 lbs/acre oats
Secada peas/ryegrass: 20 lbs/acre peas
10-15 lbs/acre ryegrass
Optimum seedbed conditions will ensure good germination and emergence. Drill the peas about one inch deep. Secada peas will also work well under a minimum tillage situation.
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