Replacing fallow with field pea in wheat production systems across western Nebraska


Integration of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) (FP) into dryland cropping systems has increased due to ecological and economic benefits, paired with a growing market for pea-derived products. Challenges exist in the High Plains that limit the integration of crop rotations to replace fallow periods with FP in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-based systems. This experiment compares chemical summer fallow to FP in a fallow–wheat rotation at two locations in western Nebraska. Soil water content, soil fertility, N mineralization, FP yield, and subsequent hard red winter wheat (HWW) yields were recorded. Subsequent HWW yields were not different between crop sequences (P = .42). The interaction of site-year with crop sequence explained the HWW yield differences (P = .0005), mostly due to precipitation variability among site-years. Most soil parameters tested only showed a main effect of date due to temporal changes in soil nutrient cycling. Replacing summer fallow with FP resulted in reduced soil water content, however, that did not result in long-term moisture deficiency due to crop sequence type. System annualized gross revenue was equal to or greater for 2 site-years for FP compared with fallow, with an average increase of US$113.15 ha–1. Pea–wheat reduced annualized net losses in 1 site-year by $70 ha–1 compared with fallow–wheat in the "average" pricing model. Among 3 site-years and three pricing models, pea–wheat resulted in greater net profit or reduced net losses compared with fallow–wheat in 5 site-year comparisons.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Replacing fallow with field pea in wheat production systems across western Nebraska. Agronomy Journal 114, 6 p3329-3346 (2022)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:


field pea, western Nebraska, fallow


Koeshall, S. T., Easterly, A. C., Werle, R., Stepanovic, S., & Creech, C. F. (2022). Replacing fallow with field Pea in wheat production systems across western Nebraska. Agronomy Journal, 114, 3329– 3346.
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