Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #170249

Title: EFFECT OF WATER STRESS ON THE YIELD OF COWPEA (VIGNA UNGUICULATA L. WALP.) GENOTYPES IN THE DELMARVA REGION OF THE UNITED STATES

Author
item DADSON, ROBERT
item HASHEM, FAWZY
item JAVAID, IQBAL
item JOSHI, JAGMOHAN
item ALLEN, ARTHUR
item Devine, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/22/2004
Publication Date: 6/30/2005
Citation: Dadson, R.B., Hashem, F.M., Javaid, I., Joshi, J., Allen, A.L., Devine, T.E. 2005. Effect of Water Stress on the Yield of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) Genotypes in the Delmarva Region of the United States. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 191:210-217.

Interpretive Summary: The Delmarva Peninsula encompasses portions of the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Many of the soils in this area are prone to drought during the summer growing season. Drought damages the production of the two major crops grown in the Delmarva - corn and soybean. Cowpea is adapted to drought conditions and could serve as an insurance crop to sustain production during drought years. In this study ten different cowpea cultivars were evaluated over two years for production ability under natural rainfall and induced drought conditions at Princess Anne, Maryland. The cowpea cultivars California Blackeye 5 and Champion gave the higher seed yields under both natural rainfall and drought conditions. The information provided in this paper is a useful guide for farmers in selecting the right cowpea cultivars to grow on the Delmarva Peninsula. Inserting cowpeas into the crop production mix used on the Delmarva can improve the stability of production and security of income for farmers in this area, as well as provide a nutritional vegetable for consumers.

Technical Abstract: Drought is an important yield reducing factor for corn and soybean which are the two major crops in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia (Delmarva) region of the United States. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) is primarily grown in drier regions of the world where it is one of the most drought resistant food legumes. Field experiments were conducted in which ten genetically diverse cowpea genotypes were evaluated for adaptability to the Delmarva area. The cowpea genotypes were grown in rain-out shelters under non-water stressed and water stressed conditions. Results showed that under non-water stressed conditions cowpea genotypes California Blackeye 5, Champion and Mississippi Silver gave higher seed yields, while genotypes White Acre, Six Week Browneye and Texas Cream 8 provided lower seed yields. Genotypes California Blackeye 5 and Champion gave comparatively better seed yields under water stressed conditions. California Blackeye 5 was the highest seed yielding genotype under both water stressed and non-water stressed conditions. The highest biological yield under non-water stressed condition was given by genotypes Two Crop Brown, White Acre and Elite, whereas under the water stressed condition genotypes Texas Cream 8, California Blackeye 5, and Mississippi Silver gave higher biological yield. Genotypes Quickpick Pinkeye and Elite were identified as early maturing genotypes. The Harvest Index (HI) varied significantly among genotypes, with Texas Cream 8 having the lowest HI. Cowpea genotypes which gave higher seed yield under water stressed conditions could play an important role in sustaining crop production in the Delmarva region.