Cow pea

Fodder Cowpea or Lobia - Thattaipayuru / Karamani:

  • It is an annual herb and has different growth habits like bushy or trailing or climbing nature. The seeds are also of different sizes, shapes and colours. This crop is grown in tropics, sub-tropics and warm temperature regions. It is grown for feeding in green form, for grazing, for hay making or for ensiling in mixtures with sorghum or maize.

Season and Variety:

  • It can be grown in all the three seasons. It is suitable for year round cultivation. Varieties include Co5, Russian giant, EC 4216, UPC - 287 and locals.

Particulars of the varierty Co5:



 Green fodder yield t/ha

 18 to 20

 Dry matter content (%)


 Crude protein content (%)


 Plant height (cm)


 No. of branches

 2 - 3

 No. of leaves


 Leaf length (cm)


 Leaf width (cm)


 Leaf stem ratio


 Plant Habit

 Semi spreading

 Plant type


  • Variety Co 5 is suitable for growing under irrigated conditions (June - July) in Erode, Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai districts.


Preparation of the field (Irrigated Crop):

  • Ploughing
    • Plough twice with an iron plough and three or four times with country plough to obtain good tilth.
  • Application of FYM
    • Apply and spread FYM or compost at 12.5 t/ha on the unploughed field and incorporate the manure into the soil during ploughing.
  • Forming Ridges and Furrows
    • Form ridges and furrows of 6 m length and 30 cm apart.
    • Form irrigation channels across furrows using a ridger.
    • If ridges and furrows are not made, form beds of size 20 m2 depending on the availability of water.
  • Application of Fertilizer
    • Apply NPK fertilizers as per the soil test recommendations as for as possible, if soil testing is not done, follow the blanker recommendation of 25 : 40 : 20 kg NPK/ha.
    • Apply the full dose of NPK of 25: 40: 20 kg/ha basally before sowing.
    • In the case of bed planted crops, mark lines to a depth of 3 cm and 30 cm apart. Place the fertilizer mixture at a depth of 5 cm along the lines. Cover the lines upto to 2 cm from the top before sowing. (Spacing 30 x 15 cm.)
    • In the case of ridges and furrows, mark lines on both sides at the bottom of the ridges and place the fertilizer as done in the bed planted crops.
    • Application of Biofertilizer mixture viz. Azospirillum, Rhizobium and Phosphobacterium along with 75% recommended dose of N and P enhanced the yield besides saving of 35% of fertilizer in Lucerne, and Desmanthus
  • Sowing
    • The seeds are to be treated with Rhizobial culture at 3 packets /ha (600 g) using rice kanji as binder
    • Maintain a seed rate of 40 kg/ha
    • Sow the seeds over the lines where the fertilizers are placed at a depth of 2 cm and cover with soil.

  • Water Management
    • Irrigate immediately after sowing, life irrigation on third day and thereafter once in ten days.
  • Weed Management
    • Hoeing and weeding are given as and when necessary
  • Protection of Seedlings from Insect pests
    • If sucking pests are seen, spray Methyl - Demeton 25 EC 500 ml or Dimethoate 30 EC 500 ml, or Phosphamidon 85 WSC 250 ml/ha in 250 ltrs of water. Stop spraying 20 days before harvest.
  • Harvesting
    • Harvest 50-55 days after sowing (50% flowering stage).

Last modified: Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 9:05 AM