Field pea (Pisum sativum) is one of the pulse crop mainly cultivated in high land area of Ethiopia for human consumption. The amount of yield gain per hectares bases are very low because lack of information concerning appropriate sowing dates, plant density, biotic factors and lack of improved varieties which constitute the major challenges on field pea production in the study area. The field experiment was conducted to determine the appropriate sowing dates on different varieties of field pea crop at the study site. The field experiment was conducted at Shambu Campus Gitilo Research site. The experiment was consisted of four sowing dates (June, 25th;July, 5th; July, 15th and July, 25th) and five field pea varieties(Adi, Bilal, Burkitu, Gume and Magar). The treatments were laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. The field pea varieties were sown at 2 m length and 3 m width with 0.2 m inter row spacing and with 5 rows. The analysis of variance on dates of sowing revealed significant differences in all parameters except, days to 50% flowering, plant height, pod length, hundred seed weight, dry bio mass and harvest index of field pea crop. While varietal effects were of significant difference on field pea growth and yield parameters, except on days to 50% flowering, days to 90%maturity, plant height and number of seeds set per pods. The interaction effects were of significant difference (P<0.05)on number of branches per plant, number of pod per plant and number of seeds per pods on field pea. The highest yield (464.3 kg/ha) was measured at July,5th sowing date, while the lowest grain yield 353.kg/ha and 347kg/ha were measured at June, 25th and July, 25th respectively. At July, 15th, the intensity of rainfall is adequate and the emergence of the seedling was better, while when extend the dates of sowing until July 25th, the soil moisture content is very high and the number of germinated seedlings were lower and had negative impact on the dates of maturity and number of branches and pod produced per plant. The highest and lowest grain yield (416.2kg/ha and 383.8kg/ha) were observed on Magar and Adi varieties. Therefore, the recently released field pea varieties of Magar and Bilal were recommended atJuly, 5th to attain maximum and economic yield.
Keywords: Field pea, Varieties, Sowing date, Yield