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Title: US-1136, US-1137, and US-1138 cowpea lines for cover crop use

item Harrison, Howard
item Jackson, David - Mike
item Thies, Judy
item Fery, Richard
item SMITH, J - Clemson University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/18/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Citation: Harrison Jr, H.F., Jackson, D.M., Thies, J.A., Fery, R.L., Smith, J.P. 2014. US-1136, US-1137, and US-1138 cowpea lines for cover crop use. HortScience. 49(3):364-366.

Interpretive Summary: Cowpeas are valued as a summer cover crop because they thrive in hot moist environments grow well in low fertility soils, and exhibit vigorous growth that smothers weeds. They can fix up to 200 lb/acre nitrogen and are an excellent source of nitrogen for fall planted crops. Potential negative impacts of certain cowpea cover crop varieties are that they can harbor pathogens that create disease problems for rotational crops, and can produce seeds with impermeable seed coats that remain viable in the soil for years and become weeds in rotational crops. Three newly released USDA-ARS lines, US-1136, US-1137, and US-1138 are adapted for cover crop use because they do not produce hard seeds and exhibit nematode resistance. Thus, they will not increase nematode populations or cause a weed problem for rotational crops. Each of the newly released germplasm lines is recommended for use by those interested in the development of cropping systems that incorporate the use of a warm-season legume cover crop.

Technical Abstract: Following five years of field evaluation, three cowpea populations were selected as best adapted for use as a cover crop. A pure line selection procedure was used to develop genetically uniform lines from the segregating populations. Field evaluations demonstrated that the lines grow rapidly for up to 14 weeks after a mid-summer planting. The major attributes of US-1136, US-1137, and US-1138 are rapid growth, high biomass production, long vegetative growth period, Southern root knot [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White] nematode resistance, and nonproduction of seeds with impermeable seed coats.