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Cover Crop Series: Black Cowpeas

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Black Cowpeas are a heat- and drought-tolerant legume. They are adapted to a range of soils and seem to be relatively pest-free. Like all cowpeas, they can be consumed by humans in the form of snap beans and dry beans but may not be as palatable as some others. Black cowpeas have a long season of vegetative growth before flowering and will make vines that run along the ground or climb up other plants, if given the chance. Seeding rate was 54 pounds per acre.

These plots were drill planted in 7.5 inch rows in a no-till seedbed on a Heiden clay soil May 15, 2017, at the Noble Research Institute Headquarters Farm in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Planting depth was about 1.5 inches. Seed was placed on top of soil moisture, and 2.33 inches of rain fell over the next three days. No fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides were applied to this crop. Rainfall was below average after establishment.

About the Cover Crop Series

The Noble Research Institute is testing dozens of cover crop species with potential to help build soil health in the Southern Great Plains. This series features the cover crops we've grown on our Headquarters Farm in southern Oklahoma. These videos explore our results on establishment and growth, ground cover potential, and weed control for each crop.