Dry pea improves corn yield and tolerance to weed interference compared with soybean, spring wheat, or canola as preceding crops. To understand this synergy between dry pea and corn, growth and nutrient concentration of corn were examined following dry pea or soybean in sequence. Each corn plot was split into weed-free and weed-infested subplots, with foxtail millet established at one density to provide uniform weed interference. Compared with soybean, dry pea improved corn grain yield 10% in weed-free conditions and corn tolerance to weed interference more than twofold. Dry pea synergy to corn in weed-free conditions was not related to differences in corn development, height, or nutrient status of corn seedlings. When foxtail millet was present, dry pea increased corn height and rate of development late in the growing season compared with soybean. Improved corn tolerance to weed interference was not related to seedling emergence or growth of foxtail millet, as these parameters did not vary with preceding crop. Other biological factors must be involved in dry pea synergy to corn.
Nomenclature: Canola, Brassica napus L.; corn, Zea mays L.; dry pea, Pisum sativum L.; foxtail millet, Setaria italica (L.) Beauv.; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.; spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L.