Submitted to: Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2001
Publication Date: 10/1/2001
Citation: RAO, S.C., PHILLIPS, W.A. SUB-TROPICAL GRAIN LEGUME - A POTENTIAL FORAGE FOR SOUTHERN PLAINS. SOUTHERN PASTURE AND FORAGE CROP IMPROVEMENT CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. 2001. p. 47-51. Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only.
Technical Abstract: A primary goal of livestock production systems is to have access to high quality forages year-round, which reduces the costs of harvested or purchased feeds. The primary forage resources for grazing livestock in the Southern Great Plains are winter wheat and warm-season perennial grasses. However, a void in livestock nutrient supply exists with this system from late July through late November, when quality and quantity of summer perennial grasses are declining and before winter wheat is available for grazing. We evaluated three pigeon pea ecotypes as a potential solution to this problem. The average yield of pigeon pea forages ranged from 1120 kg ha-1 in July to 12600 kg ha-1 in the first week of October. Nitrogen concentration and dry matter digestibility of plants averaged over the growing season ranged from 2.3 to 2.8% and 57 to 61%, respectively. Pigeon pea seed can replace 0.6 units of corn and 0.4 units of cottonseed meal without lowering diet digestibility and N retention. These results suggest that pigeon pea has the potential to provide high quality forage and grain that could be used as primary or supplementary feed for grazing livestock at a time when other forages are less productive.