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Cowpea farming or call it cultivation is one of the most common agriculture activities in our country India. Cowpea, an important part of legumes class, is widely used for animal fodder.
Cowpeas are black eyed legume type plants which are actually dried beans rich in both vitamin C and proteins. It is a product with many different local names. Some of the common names in use are vignasinesis, cowpea, belly or black eyes.
Cowpea which is a product rich in vitamins and minirals belongs to the legume class. Cowpeas are used as animal food because it contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Here we are sharing a complete guide for cowpea farming. All the important steps including planting, watering, and harvesting have been explained in a detailed way. Let’s get started…
Ideal climatic conditions
Cowpeas grow mostly at places featuring hot climates. The grain legume requires more temperature especially during the process of growth and development. Let’s remind you that cowpeas are highly sensitive to frost. So places witnessing frost problem might often see cowpea cultivation failure. The ideal climatic conditions suitable for cowpea cultivation are:
- A soil temperature of around 10°C or 50°F and an air temperature of about 12°C are required during the seed germination phase.
- Air temperature upto 30°C should be having during the growth phase as it maximes plant growth.
- Temperature difference between day and night should be between 5°C and 10°C.
Cowpeas grow in a warmy soil temperature. However, it is a plant which can grow in many different types of soil including sandy as well as clay soil types. Depending upon the type of cowpea, your soil requirements are as follows:
- Light soil is required for fresh cowpea production
- Dry grains and at the same time a mature cowpea
- The pH value of your soil should be in range of 5.5 to 6.5
Soil Preparation and Planting
Ram Gopal, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, said that first of all it is important that you do possible cleaning in the soil where you will plant the cowpeas. The soil structure is also important, he added. You should be aware about all the stages involved in soil preperation.
- The soil should be deeply soaked during your preperation phase in autumn season
- The soil shouldn’t become overly low as it could become unhealthy because air and water flow are carriet out.
- The general plantation stage for cowpea seeds is the spring season. That is the reason why you should be cultivating your land several times at a depth of 10-15 CM before sowing.
- After the last frost of the spring season, it is very useful to plow plow your soil once more and follow it by sowing your seeds.
- Keep soil moisture in mind before you even sow seeds
- Put your each seed bed in 60 CM and 15 CM order
- Make sure to place your cowpea seeds in the deepest of 5CM in the soil
Best irrigation methods
It is time to watering your cowpeas. Irrigation of cowpeas requires a good amount of attention. Furrow method of irrigation offers various benefits as it ensures maximum plant growth. Your schedules for irrigation should be done within a period of 8 days to 10 days.
Fertigation of cowpeas
Cowpeas, especially after the planting phase needs to be given phosphorus fertigation. There should be also the contribution of nitrogen, potassium in the fertigation process. Around 10 KG of nitrogen, 10KG of phosphprus and about 8KG of potassium fertilizersuppliments are very important dose requirements.
The harvesting period of cowpeas begins when are fresh and become dry. During the period, cowpeas ooze out milky juice which shows they are ready for harvest. The suitable harvesting is done within 5 to 9 weeks. It is also possible to harvest 2 times within a one week period. Make sure you don’t miss harvest time as it could unleash negative effect on the quality of your product.
Dont’t harvest cowpeas for the production of dry cowpeas and leave it on the pods. Just wait until you see a purple color during the transition phase from green to yellow. This process is called drying. The pods are best to be harvested without going it through the cracking phase.
Health benefits of cows
Cowpeas are extremely useful for health as they happen to be rich in vitamins and minerals. Some of the main health benefits recognized in the medical field are given as:
- Cowpeas help to fight cholesterol problems
- Maintain sugar balance and prevents disease speadness
- Auguments to fight cancer as it contains vitamin A and C
- Good source of protens
- Digestive system activities are regulated by cowpeas
- Give relief from gastro-intestinal problems, and helps to loose weight fast
- Treats iron deficiency in people
- Provides B9 and is rich in potassium