Source: Magness et al. 1971
The term field pea designates peas used as forage for livestock rather than for human food. The plants are annuals, adapted to cool climates. They have weak, semi-vining stems. The leaves usually consist of 3 pairs of broad, ovate leaflets and terminate in a tendril. They are borne along the whole length of the stem. Seeds are usually near round, smooth, and produced several to a pod. Field peas are grown for livestock feed in northern states from New York west to Oregon, where they are seeded in early spring. In the South they are seeded in the fall for winter pasture and green manure. For harvesting dried peas, fields are mowed, the vines windrowed to dry, then threshed with combines. The dry beans are grown on about a quarter million acres. Straw after threshing, as well as the peas, are nutritious feeds.