Cultivation of Cowpea (Vigna sinensis)
Vigna sinensis Savi.
Cowpea is a Kharif legume and is grown through India for green pod, dry seed, fodder and green manure.
Cowpea is a warm season crop and cannot stand cold weather. Warm and moist climate is favorable for this crop. It cannot tolerate heavy rainfall.
Soil and its Preparation:
Cowpea can be grown in all types of soil. But sandy and sandy loam soils are best suited for it. The soil should be rich in organic matter. The land is prepared by giving four to five ploughing.
Sowing of Seed:
a) Time of Sowing:
The time of sowing varies according to type of crop.
i) Kharif crop: May – June.
Ii) Rabi crop: October- November.
iii) Spring crop: February – March.
b) Seed Rate:
The rate is 15 to 20 kg/ha.
c) Method of Sowing:
The seed is sown by dibbling method. In layout flat bed and spacing 40 X 30cm, or 65 X 45 cm is recommended by PKV, Akola.
30 to 50 cart load of FYM or compost should be applied at the time of sowing preparation. 25 kg N, 50 kg P, should be applied ½ dose N, full dose P and k should be applied at the sowing and remaining half nitrogen applied one month after sowing.
No weeding is given this crop. It covers the land very soon and kill the weeds by smoothing. In early stage of growth, one weeding has been found beneficial to this crop.
No irrigation is given in rainy season crop. But if grown earlier, the crop is irrigated whenever it is required. About three to four irrigation may be given before rainfall.
The compare becomes ready for harvesting in 90 to 105 days for short duration crop and 135 to 150 days for long duration crop. Frequently tender pods should be harvested before they become fibrous. The plant is harvested for fodder or is used as green manure, when they are bearing flowers.
Cowpea yield about 50 to 80 quintal green pods/ ha.
Pusa phalguni (suitable for sowing as a summer season crop), Pusa Barsati (Suitable for sowing as only rainy season crop), Pusa Dofasli ( suitable for sowing as a summer and rainy season crop ), Pusa komal.