Cowpea : Planting season, Harvesting and Yield

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata ) is native to Africa and Asia and is now cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. It is used as a pulse, vegetable fodder, and green manure in Goat Farming Business. It is of considerable importance in dryland farming.

Soil and climate

It is adapted to a variety of soil types, viz. red loam, black clay loam, coarse gravel, sandy loam, light sandy soils. It is also grown in sloppy land in hilly tracts and heavy loam soils. It is more tolerant to heavy rainfall than any other pulse crop. It suffers from water stagnation and heavy drought. It thrives well under the temperature range of 21- 35°C.

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Cropping system

The crop is usually grown as a dry land Kharif crop and can also be grown as a pre-monsoon and late monsoon crop. It is also grown as the second crop during rabi after rice in southern parts of the country.

Cultivation

Fields should be prepared well for sowing. The crop is sown in the first week of July in the hills and in the second fortnight of March in lower hills and in October in plains. One hand weeding or hoeing 30-35 days after sowing or application of weedicide Pendimethalin @ 1.0-1.5 kg a.i /ha immediately after sowing helps in the control of weeds. The crop requires adequate moisture.

In plains, 3-4 irrigation is required. About 120 kg N and 80 kg P/ha are recommended. Half the nitrogen is applied as a basal dose and a half for top dressing. The crop matures in 120-125 days. The row to row spacing is 30-45 cm. The recommended seed rate is 20-25 kg/ha. Seed yield up to 1.0 tonnes/ha is obtained.

Also Read  Lucerne : Planting season, Harvesting and Yield

You can also follow the complete chemical-free approach of using Jeevamrutham as an alternative approach.

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