Cowpea is an important legume crop in Sri Lanka.  The plant tolerates drought, performs well in a wide variety of soils, and being a legume replenishes low fertility soils when the roots are left to decay.

  • Climatic and soil requirements

Cowpea can be grown on a wide range of soil, from predominantly sandy loam to clay ranging from acidic to basic (pH 4.5 – 8.0). Can be grown sandy to loam soil and well drained with a pH of 6 – 7. Cowpea is highly sensitive to water logging conditions and it is a warm weather crop which grows at temperatures between 200C to 300C.

Recommended varieties

MI 35- Exhibits semi-erect growth habit. Flowering occurs in about 45 days after planting. Flowers are white in color. Pods are borne above the canopy. Seeds are small and pure cream in color. Thousand seed weight average around 70g. Current yield is 1350 kg/ha. Variety MI 35 is susceptible to collar rot disease.

 

Wijaya- This variety exhibits erect and determinate growth. It flowers in about 40 – 45 days after planting. Flowers are bluish purple in color. Pods are long pendulous and dark green. Seeds are large and light brown in color. This variety matured in about 55 – 60 days. It has a thousand seed weight of 100g. Average yield is 1600 kg/ha. Resistant to collar rot disease.

 

Waruni- Plant exhibits erect and determinate growth habit. It flowers in about 40 days after planting. It has bluish purple flowers. It bears long pendulous dark green pods. Seeds are medium sized and reddish brown in color. It has a thousand seed weight of about 115g. Average yield is 1650 kg/ha

 

Dhawala– Dhawala exhibits a semi erect growth habit. Flowering occurs at 40 – 45 days after planting. Flowers are white in color. Pods are pendulous and green in color. Seeds are large and cream color with a black eye. Its thousand seed weight is about 170g. Variety Dhawala is suitable for planting in well drained paddy lands during Yala season. Average yield is 1600 kg/ha.

 

 

Bombay- Exhibits erect growth habit. Flowering occurs about 40 – 50 days after planting. Flowers are purple in color. It possess dark green pigmented, long and pendulous pods. It matures in 75 – 90 days after planting. Seeds are large and speckled gray brown in color. Thousand seed weight is about 180g. Variety Bombay is suitable for cultivation in Maha season in rain fed uplands. Average yield is 1450 kg/ha.

Seed rate

  • 35 – 40 kg/ha

Spacing

  • 30 cm x 15 cm
  • Land preparation

First ploughing followed by harrowing ensures good weed control and suitable seed bed preparation.

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