Field peas are one of the oldest domesticated crops and are now grown in many countries for both human consumption and stockfeed. They have a range of growth habits at maturity, from trailing (which can be difficult to harvest) to erect types. The development of semi-leafless/semi-dwarf types have given growers options with better standing ability which helps with harvesting. In these plants, the leaves have been modified into tendrils which tend to wrap themselves together and hold the plant upright.
There are five seed types of field pea of which only two, Dun and White seed types, are grown in Western Australia. Dun varieties have greenish-brown (dun) seed coats and yellow cotyledons and Australia is currently the only country in the world which grows and exports dun type field peas.
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia contributes to Pulse Breeding Australia to evaluate potential new varieties. Good variety options are available for Western Australian growers suited to a range of soil types and growing seasons.