Cowpea Ebony

Vigna unguiculata

Ebony Cowpeas is an annual diploid summer legume forage crop exhibiting a spreading growth habit.

Ebony Cowpeas was released to Australia as a grazing type of cowpea suited to subtropical coastal areas with medium rainfall or in areas with irrigation. It has good tolerance to Phytophthora root disease.

Ebony Cowpeas is an annual diploid summer legume forage crop exhibiting a spreading growth habit.

Ebony Cowpeas was released to Australia as a grazing type of cowpea suited to subtropical coastal areas with medium rainfall or in areas with irrigation. It has good tolerance to Phytophthora root disease.

Features

  • Resistance to stem rot disease races 3 and 4 of the severe root rot fungus, Phytophthora vignae.
  • Long production season
  • Good drought tolerance
  • No prussic acid issues
  • Excellent source of nitrogen in summer rotations
  • Good companion legume with millet and forage sorghum
  • Adds quality to silage and hay through higher protein content.
  • Excellent green manure crop.
  • Large seed (5,000/kg)

Ebony Cowpeas are susceptible to frost and prone to Bean fly attack on late sown crops at the 2 – 3 leaf stage. Requires inoculant Group I.

Plant characteristics:

  • Variable growth habit depending on cultivars. It can be used as a dual-purpose crop either for grain and/or forage.
  • It is an annual with herbaceous growth habit – from prostrate trailing plant to climbing vine.
  • It produces high seed yields where both seed and plant offer high nutritive value and palatability.
  • It is easy to establish and is known to improve soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
  • Widely adaptable to a range of soil types
  • Greater drought tolerance than other pulses.

Management:

  • Best sown when soil temperatures reach 18⁰C.
  • Sow at a depth of 3 – 5 cm.
  • Use 18 – 35cm row spacings to achieve 9 – 13 plants per m²
  • Wider row spacings allows for better livestock access and reduce trampling.

Used as a grain for human consumption or as forage for livestock.

  • Recommended pH Rate: 4.0 – 7.0
  • Recommended Rainfall Rate: 400mm+
  • Recommended Sow Rate:
    10 to 14 kgs/ha dryland
    20kgs-30kg/ha under irrigation