Soil Health Project
The Green Pea Company – Soil Health Project
The project aims to investigate the effects of cover crops in vining pea rotations to improve soil health, soil structure and soil organic matter content, and improve yields.
Vining peas are grown intensively in eastern England and Scotland, to ensure timely access to processing factories. This results in intensive production, often leading to poor soil structure which exacerbates development of soil-borne diseases in peas (root-rots), causing severe yield reductions.
The project will establish a series of field trials incorporating different cover crop species, and measure indicators of soil health, to provide information and systems to mitigate the effects of intensive pea production.
The EIP-Agri Focus Group on IPM Practices for Soil-borne Disease identified the long term management of soil organic matter as a priority, with use of cover crops and biofumigant crops for soil pathogen control.