See more from this Session: General Forage and Grazinglands: II
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Warm season annuals such as cowpea (Bigna unguiculata) and lablab (Lablab purpureus) are widely used as a grazing and/or a hay crop for ruminant animals through out the Southeastern United States. Two studies were completed in Overton, Texas to evaluate cowpea and lablab dry matter (DM) production and nutritive value when overseeded into a bermudagrass sod or prepared seedbed. In the first study cowpeas were direct-drilled in June at 0, 56, 112 or 168 kg/ha seeding rate into both chemically (Gramoxone) suppressed and untreated bermudagrass. Cowpeas were harvested once in August. Yields were influenced primarily by bermudagrass sod treatment and secondarily by seeding rate. Protein levels in the bermudagrass increased with increasing seeding rate of cowpeas. This suggests some direct transfer of nitrogen from cowpeas to bermudagrass. In the second study, three seeding rates (28, 56, and 112 kg/ha) were evaluated on cowpea (‘Iron-and-Clay’) and lablab (‘Rongai’) DM production and plant part (leaf and stem) nutritive value. At two harvest dates (July and November), DM production and percent cover were highest at 112 kg/ha seeding rate. Nutritive value was similar among legumes with leaf components having significantly higher quality compared to stems. The percent protein in leaves at both harvest dates remained high and relatively constant at about 25 to 28%. Cowpeas and lablab may be successfully grown in an actively growing bermudagrass sod during the summer months. These warm season legumes can provide higher quality forage for grazing livestock and/or wildlife.