Establishment of Tropical Annual Legumes Sod-Seeded into Bermudagrass or Prepared Seedbed

Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Francis M. Rouquette Jr., Gerald R. Smith

Abstract


Warm-season annual legumes such as cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp) and lablab (Lablab purpureus [L.] Sweet) have the potential to be used for grazing and/or hay crop throughout the Southeastern United States. Two studies were conducted at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Overton, Texas to evaluate cowpea and lablab dry matter (DM) production and nutritive value when sod seeded into bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) pers) or on prepared seedbed. In Experiment I, ‘Iron-and-Clay’ cowpea were direct-drilled on June 19 at 0, 56, 112, and 168 kg/ha seeding rates into chemically (Gramoxone®) suppressed or untreated ‘Coastal’ bermudagrass. A single harvest of cowpea to assess total dry matter was made in August. The dry matter was influenced by chemical treatment and seeding rate. Crude protein concentration in bermudagrass increased with increased seeding rate of cowpea, which indicated some direct nitrogen transfer from the cowpea to bermudagrass. In Experiment II, three seeding rates (28, 56, and 112 kg/ha) were evaluated for Iron-and-Clay cowpea and three selections of lablab for DM and nutritive value. At two harvest dates, DM production and percent stand were greatest at 112 kg/ha seeding rate. Crude protein concentrations in leaves of cowpea and lablab at both harvest dates remained relatively constant at 26.5%.


Keywords


cowpea; lablab; bermudagrass; seeding rate; legumes

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