Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Eric B. Von Wettberg


Cover crops play a significant role in improving and maintaining good soil health quality. However, there are often some agronomic challenges associated with establishing cover crops successfully. In Northeastern regions of USA, abiotic stressors such as cold affects the establishment of winter cover crops. Using both field trial and laboratory methods I investigated the possibility of growing improved winter peas as a cash cover crop in Northeastern regions of USA. My results yielded no significant difference in winter survival between winter pea types of forage quality that have been known to have cold hardiness traits, or in winter peas that have been bred to have edible traits for the food quality market. In two field trial seasons of 2021/2022 and 2022/2023, almost all varieties reached their reproductive stage in the first week of June when seeded the previous year around the end of September. My results show that although peas are a viable overwinter cover crop, planting them as a double crop can be challenging. Reported barriers to cover crop adoption such as high seed cost and time constraints cannot easily be solved by suggesting double cropping with winter peas due to their late maturity date. The maturity date will not allow dry or fresh pea harvest in many on-farm settings in Vermont. Future studies may explore the feasibility and market demand for growing winter peas or other cold hardy species as a double crop for other economic use.



Number of Pages

46 p.

Available for download on Saturday, December 14, 2024