Panhandle Perspectives: 2021 pea variety trial results available on-line

by Dave Osdiek | Nebraska Extension

Dipak Santra
UNL Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist Dipak Santra shows samples of yellow pea and green pea for comparison. He is standing in the variety trial plots at High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney.
February 8, 2022

Lincoln, Neb. —Results of University of Nebraska-Lincoln's 2021 variety trials for field peas have been compiled and posted on the Nebraska Extension CropWatch website. 

In 2021, a total of five spring pea variety trials were conducted in the Panhandle and southwest Nebraska. The three dryland trials were in Box Butte County near Alliance (19 varieties), Cheyenne County near Sidney (19 varieties), and Perkins County near Venango (25 varieties). The two irrigated trials included one in Scottsbluff and one in Cheyenne County. Each site also included a chickpea (garbanzo bean) variety, Kasin from Valesco Genetics.

The direct link for variety trial results for peas is Or, start at the main CropWatch page ( ) and use the navigation bar, clicking on these links: management > variety testing > other crops.

The report lists data for each variety at all sites: yield (in order of rank); test weight; seed protein percentage; flowering; and height at harvest. Each site report also has notes about the growing season and production practices at that location.

Also on that page are variety trial results for 2019 and 2020, along with variety trial results for several other crops – dry edible beans, oats, proso millet, and sunflower. A link there provides access to archived data from earlier years.

The spring field pea varieties were provided by four commercial seed companies: Meridian Seeds (five), Pulse USA (five), ProGene Plant Research (seven), Valesco Genetics (eight) and North Dakota State University (two). All the pea varieties are human food-grade quality, not forage type. All were yellow field peas except for six varieties of green peas.

Some conclusions:

Yield, protein levels and other data:

Planting was completed within the normal planting range in early spring except for Box Butte County, which was planted three weeks later (April 29) due to rain and wet conditions. The weather conditions affected yield and other results in Box Butte County. Yields were lower than average at all three locations, but better than 2020. Perkins County had the highest average yield and Box Butte County the lowest, primarily due to late planting. Seed protein was higher than average compared to past few years in all locations. All other traits (flowering, plant height, test weight, seed weight) were average compared to past years.

Box Butte County: Average yield was poor due to late planting and wet conditions, at 660 pounds per acre (11 bushels) Highest yield was 794 pounds (13 bushels) by ND144G Pea, a green pea line from North Dakota State University. Other top-yielding varieties were ND Dawn, ND Sunrise (a new variety), AC Carver, and Durwood. AC Profit had low yields at Box Butte County this year. However, this variety has been the top-yielding variety in other years at this location. Test weights were very low, averaging 38 pounds per bushel (normal is ~60). Flowering was very late (average June 21). Plants were very short (average height 10 inches). Seed protein was not analyzed. These poor results are due to very late planting (April 29) and late harvesting (Aug. 11). Therefore, use this year’s Box Butte result with caution. Farmers should not take this year’s Box Butte results for their variety selection.

In Cheyenne County, yields were below average but moderate compared to past years. Average yield was 16 bushels per acre, ranging from 10 to 21 bushels. Highest-yielding variety was ND144G Pea, a green pea variety from NDSU. Other top-yielding varieties are AC Profit, Spider, MS-20YP4, CDC Inca, LG Sunrise, and AAC Chrome. Test weight, seed size and plant height were relatively lower than in the past. Average test weight was 54 pounds per bushel, ranging from 57 (ND144G Pea) to 51 (Cronos). Flowering date was average. Seed protein percent was severely high, averaging 30 percent, ranging from 32 (LG Stunner and Cronos) to 28 percent (AAC Chrome).

In Perkins County, yield was lower than past years, averaging 26 bushels. Yield ranged from 32 bushels (CDC Inca) to 17 bushels (LG Stunner). Other top-yielding varieties are AAC Carver, MS-20YP4, ND Dawn, DS-Admiral, Salamanca, Spider, and AAC Chrome. Average test weight was 54 pounds per bushel, ranging from 58 (MS-20YP4) to 41 bushels (Empire from Valesco). The very low-test weight of Empire possibly was an exception because this variety had average test weight in the other two locations. Seed protein percent was high (29 percent average), ranging from 32 percent (LG Stunner) to 26.5 percent (AAC Chrome).

Irrigated pea variety trial:

Average yield for Cheyenne County was 20 bushels, ranging from 24 (Salamanca) to 10 bushels (Cronos). Average protein was 28 percent, ranging from 27 to 29.5 percent.  Average yield for Scotts Bluff County was 40 bushels per acre, ranging from 62 (Empire) to 25 (AAC Chrome). Seed protein average was 28 percent, ranging from 29.5 percent (Cronos) to 24.7 (Goldenwood). Test weight was normal and flowering date was a week later compared to the dryland sites.

Chickpea variety trial:

One chickpea variety, Kasin, was tested at each location. Yield at each location was 13 bushels per acre (Perkins dryland), 12.5 bushels (Box Butte dryland), 9 bushels (Cheyenne irrigated), and 14 bushels (Scotts Bluff irrigated). There was no harvestable mature seed at the Cheyenne County dryland site. Chickpea is typically produced under irrigated conditions in Nebraska, not dryland, and this was reflected in the test data.

Seed sources:

The Nebraska Crop Improvement Association Seedbook for 2022 has not been released yet, but no major changes are expected from 2021, when seven varieties of certified field pea seed were available. The 2021 varieties included DS Admiral and AAC Carver from Meridian Seeds, SW Midas and Nette 2010 from Pulse USA, and AAC Chrome, AAC Profit and Spider from Valesco Genetics. Five of the varieties were included in 2021 testing. Results of the other two varieties, (Nette 2010 and SW Midas) for past years are still available at the CropWatch website or by contacting Dipak Santra.

The Nebraska Crop Improvement Seed Book ( has complete list and contact information for certified seed dealers.

In Nebraska 27,000 acres of field peas were harvested in 2021, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That total is 7,000 acres lower than 2020. Total production was 354,000 hundredweight. Total value of peas produced was $7.9 million although total acres produced were low. This was because of the very high price last year, $22.22 per hundredweight (CWT).

Harvested acres in 2017-20 were 56,000, 49,000, 28,000, and 32,000, respectively. USDA estimated the value of peas produced in Nebraska at $7.8 million in 2017, $9.4 million in 2018, $6.9 million in 2019, and $3.7 million in 2020.

For questions or any additional information, please contact Dipak Santra, Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist at the Panhandle Center (, 308-632-1244).

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