cowpeas_small

Cowpeas: Iron and Clay

$2.18 per lb.

Bulk Discount Pricing

2 - 9 lbs.
$1.96 / lb.
10 - 19 lbs.
$1.74 / lb.
20 - 29 lbs.
$1.53 / lb.
30 - 39 lbs.
$1.31 / lb.
40 - 49 lbs.
$1.09 / lb.
50+ lbs.
$0.87 / lb.

Known as the most heat-adapted legume with excellent drought tolerance, which can largely be attributed to it’s stout tap root. Cowpea roots have been documented at penetrating over 8 ft. into the soil profile, which is far superior to soybean roots. Cowpeas attract benefical insects even without flowering because they excrete extra-florel nectar through small pores in the stems and leaves. Cowpeas are known to generally preform better in acidic soils than alfalfa and clover species. N production is so pronounced, that it’s one of few legumes that will leave the soil with a positive N credit, even if the seed is harvested. Observations have shown significant reductions in root-knot and soybean nematodes after a cowpea crop.

Basic Info

Maturity
90-140
Seeds/lb
4,100
C/N Ratio
18-22:1
Growth Habit
Semi-Upright/Climbing
Winter Hardiness
Not Frost Tolerant

Use

Cowpea is known to be the most productive warm season, annual legume in the country. It's an excellent addition to any warm season mixture and is an great protein source in pasture, hay and silage. Rapid germination and growth allow this species to quickly shade and cover the ground, which reduces erosion and controls weeds. There's a wide array of varieties, each varying in growth characteristics but you can expect growth of 2-3 ft. in height. Cowpeas are known for their ability to attract benefical insects. Flowering can occur within 48 days and pod set within 60 days. Significant N production and strong taproot, this species can really feed and penetrate the soil.

Nitrogen Fixing Potential
10 / 100-150
N Scavenge
3
Dry Matter
3.000-4,500
Lasting Residue
3
Erosion Control
9
Traffic Bearing
1
Grazing Potential
6
Forage Harvest
6
Root Type
Tap root
Soil Builder
5
Cash Crop Interseeding
5

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Advantages

Known as the most heat-adapted legume with excellent drought tolerance, which can largely be attributed to it's stout tap root. Cowpea roots have been documented at penetrating over 8 ft. into the soil profile, which is far superior to soybean roots. Cowpeas attract benefical insects even without flowering because they excrete extra-florel nectar through small pores in the stems and leaves. Cowpeas are known to generally preform better in acidic soils than alfalfa and clover species. N production is so pronounced, that it's one of few legumes that will leave the soil with a positive N credit, even if the seed is harvested. Observations have shown significant reductions in root-knot and soybean nematodes after a cowpea crop.

Subsoiler
5
Surface Compaction
7
Rendering P & K
5
Traffic Bearing
1
Nematode Control
1
Disease Control
1
Allelopathic Effect
1
Weed Control
10
Short Growth Time
10

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Disadvantages

In relation to soybeans, cowpeas are much less frost tolerant and more subceptible to soil crusting negatively affecting emergence. Cowpeas is very sensitive to salinity, especially during the vegetative growth stages. All varieties are known to be subceptible to root rot in damp soils and mildew in heavily shaded settings. Stinkbugs have been documented to be attracted to cowpeas, especially after the pod set. Cowpeas large seed size can cause broadcast seeding applications to be ineffective. If broadcast seeding be sure to incorporate or seed into soybeans where leaf drop can mulch in the seed.

Weed Potential
1
Potential Insect/Nematode Risk
5
Crop Disease Risk
3
Effect Cash Crop
1
Ease of Establishment
1
Ease of Till-Kill
3
Ease of Chem-Kill
1
Ease of Mow-Kill
1

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Planting

Cowpeas should be treated much like soybeans when considering the optimum time for planting, which will commonly be around May to mid-June. Rapid germination will occur when the soil temperatures are sustained at least a minimum of 65 F. Be sure to plant after the last threat of frost has passed into moist soil. The optimum seeding depth in recommended to be 1- 1 1/2". A monoculture stand planted in 30" row spacing will have between 4-8 seeds per ft. Planting in mid to late summer will allow for the plant to stay in the vegetative growth stage. Best germination results will be obtained by incorporating the seed into the soil profile. If grazing, best results will be obtained when the seed is planted into 15" rows for less or broadcasted with some kind of shallow incorporation.

Ideal Planting Time
Early Summer
Ideal Planting Depth
1-2"
Min Germination Temp(F)
58
Drilled Seeding Rate (lb./A)
50-60
Broadcast Seeding Rate (lb./A)
65-85
Reseeding Potential
Low

Tolerance

Cowpeas can thrive in moist, hot conditions like those preferred by corn but desires even more heat and tolerates much dryer conditions. Cowpeas are even more drought resistant and tolerates sandier soils than soybeans. This species can be grown in regions with rainfall ranging from 11-161 inches. A well-drained sandy loam or sandy soil with a pH ranging from 5.5-6.5 is desired but cowpeas will grow in a wide array soil types, with an ability to thrive in reasonably low fertility soils. Cowpeas will tolerate moderate shading but has no tolerance for flooding or waterlogged soils. For best results, fertility in the field should at least have soil tests with 27 lbs/A of P and 40 lbs/A of K.

Heat
10
Drought
7
Shade
5
Wet Soil Tolerance
3
Low Fertility
10
pH
5.5-6.5

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent