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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #188704


item Rao, Srinivas
item Mayeux Jr, Herman

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2005
Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Citation: Rao, S.C., Mayeux, H.S. 2005. Pigeon pea: A potential forage and grain for the Southern Great Plains in U.S [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Food Legume Research Conference, October 18-22, 2005, New Delhi, India. p. 103.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: A basic goal of livestock grazing programs is to provide high-quality forage year-around to reduce costs of storing and purchasing forage or concentrated feeds. Forage-based livestock production is a significant component of the agricultural economy throughout the Southern Great Plains of the U.S. However, livestock production in grazing systems is limited by low forage mass and quality from late July to early November. A field study was conducted from 1996 to 1998 to determine if pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp) could fill this deficit period. Seasonal forage production patterns and quality of three medium-to-late-maturing pigeon pea lines (ICP8151, ICPX910007, and PBNA) and two early-maturing pigeon pea lines (GA-2 and ICPL85010) were evaluated. Ecotype ICPX91007 accumulated greatest total biomass in 136 days after seeding (16 Mg ha-1), followed by ICP8151 (13 Mg ha-1) and PBNA (9.5 Mg ha-1). Mean nitrogen (N) concentration of whole plants for all ecotypes ranged from 23 to 28.6 g kg –1, and in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDMD) ranged from 572 to 614 g kg –1. The two early-maturing lines did not differ significantly in forage, grain yield, and nutritive value. Total biomass production of early maturing lines at physiological maturity was lower than medium to late maturing lines and ranged from 6.4 to 12.6 Mg ha-1. Seed yield ranged from 1.2 to 5.4 Mg ha-1. Nitrogen concentration and IVDDM at final harvest for whole plants was 19 and 585 g kg –1. Seed N and IVDDM was 26 and 750 g kg –1, respectively. These results suggest that medium-to-late maturing pigeon pea has the potential to provide forage of high quality when other forages are unproductive, whereas early-maturing pigeon peas, after seed harvest, produced adequate forage with moderate quality.