Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Jeff Russell


Wind erosion, Erosion control, Pisum sativum, Stubble crops, Western Australia

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The area sown to field peas in Western Australia's eastern wheatbelt has increased from 4000 ha in 1985 to about 35, 000 ha in 1992.

While field peas can be grown on soil types not suited to lupins, their stubble is highly fragile and prone to wind erosion, even at low grazing pressure. This is one reason why some farmers are hesitant to grow field peas.

Haroest losses of field peas can also be high; levels of JOO to 200 kg/ha of seed on the ground are not uncommon. For this reason farmers believe the stubbles should be grazed.

Farmers also thought that grazing would control pea weevil infestations in affected areas. Recent research has shown that grazing field pea stubbles does not reduce the pea weevil population.

Research by the Department of Agriculture has assessed the erodibility of various soil types suitable for field peas. Stubble management systems have been developed to minimise wind erosion and maintain or increase whole farm profit.