A comparison of faba beans vicia faba and peas pisum sativum as whole crop forages
Grass and Forage Science 40(2): 161-170
Faba beans and peas were compared as spring sown whole-crop forages in two trials at Loughgall [Northern Ireland, UK]. No herbicide insecticide or N fertilizer was used. Harvesting took place at the end of July. As pure stands tic beans [V. faba var. minor] (cv. Blaze) yielded up to 10 to of dry matter (DM) ha-1. Lower yields were obtained at lower seed rates, or with horse beans [V. faba var. equina] (cv. Stella Spring), broad beans [V. faba var, major] (cv. Polar) or peas (cvs Minerva and Krupp). Tic and horse bean forage had a mean DM concentration of 166 g kg-1, which was higher than those of broad bean and peas. Crude protein (CP) concentration at a mean of 159 g kg-1 was similar in tic beans and peas. Faba beans mixed with cereals yielded less than beans alone, but peas with cereals yielded slightly more than peas alone. The inclusion of a cereal raised forage DM contents but lowered CP contents. Perennial ryegrass-white clover mixtures undersown in faba beans established well, but poorer swards were obtained in some of the pure pea stands which lodged severely. It is concluded that, as pure stands, tic beans have advantages over peas. Some of the disadvantages of peas can be overcome by growing a mixture of peas with cereals.