The peas would not supplant a
traditional corn-soy rotation but are in addition, since they are
timed like oats. Planting begins in March.
The peas are a program crop and are
eligible for some forms of Federal Crop Insurance. Growing the peas
doesn't affect farm program eligibility for corn and soy.
There are several agronomic advantages
in growing the peas, such as 60 pounds of nitrogen credit per acre
and the breaking of insect and disease cycles, but the best reasons
are financial. Fixed costs are reduced, since the peas use the same
equipment as soybeans. There is also a better bottom line, with
yields of 50-plus bushels per acre and prices as good as or better
than soybeans. If the loan deficiency payment of $1.62 from 2003
holds for this year, a $3.50 contract would bring growers $5.12 per
bushel in 2004.
top of second column in this article]
More details are available on the Web:
[To download the Adobe Acrobat reader
for the PDF files,
Unfortunately, the export bank funding
for this whole project ran very late. Farmers can still get the info
from RAPCO. The contracts themselves are online, and growers can
even order their seed online from the RAPCO site,
person for the project is Ron Hagemann, president of RAPCO LLC in
Rochelle, phone (815) 751-1345.
Barnes, on behalf of the University
of Illinois Trade Center and RAPCO LLC]