The Austrian Winter Pea is a low growing vine annual legume. It is sometimes called a black pea or field pea. Austrian winter pea is generally a fall-seeded cover crop that can be used for grazing, hay, or as green manure.
- Austrian Winter has light green stems, 2-4 feet long. They have hollow, slender and very palatable stems.
- Austrian Pea pods are 1 1/2-2 1/4″ long and the flowers are commonly a reddish-pink-violet color.
- Austrian Winter Peas seeds are larger than other species of pea seeds.
Field pea or “dry pea” is marketed as a dry, shelled product for either human or livestock food. Field pea differs from fresh or succulent pea, which is marketed as a fresh or canned vegetable.
The major producing countries of field pea are Russia and China, followed by Canada, Europe, Australia and the United States. Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States raise over 4.5 million acres and are major exporters of peas. In 2002, there were approximately 300,000 acres of field peas grown in the United States.
Field Peas are a good source of dietary proteins and energy. Starch content is at 30-50%, which is high. The fat content of Field pea is very low (approx. 1%) as are the levels of fibre and lignin, while the content of soluble carbohydrate (mostly starch) is high. The protein content of Field pea is lower than Angustifolius Lupins at 23%.
The metabolized energy content of Field pea for ruminant and non-ruminant animals is high due to the high content of soluble carbohydrates. In poultry diets, Field pea has a significantly higher metabolisable energy value than soybean meal. Field peas are low in calcium, sodium and possibly copper, depending on soil conditions.