Submitted to: International Crop Science Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L.) grain has been used in the tropics and underdeveloped countries as a source of dietary protein for human consumption. Recent interest has focused on pigeonpea as high yielding, high quality forage for livestock because of its persistence in hot and dry climates. A field study was conducted in 1993 and 1995 at the USDA-ARS in El Reno, OK to determine the yield and N content of three pigeonpea cultivars (GA-2, GA-3 and ICPL-87), grown during the summer fallow period of a continuous winter wheat system. Pigeonpeas were seeded in June and whole plants were harvested in August and October and separated into top one third and bottom two third leaves and stems. In August 1993, there were no significant differences in total biomass among all cultivars. In October 1993, GA-2 exhibited greater biomass and N content (7318 gm2; 165 gm2) compared with GA-3 (4747 gm2; 67 gm2) and ICPL-87 (3194 gm2; 96 gm2). At the same harvest, GA-2 and ICPL-87 had significantly greater yield and content in the top third of leaf and stem than GA-3. Due to unusually hot and dry conditions, yield were greatly reduced in 1995 (less than 300 gm2) compared with those of 1993 (more than 3000 gm2). In October of 1995, ICPL-87 demonstrated higher total biomass, leaf and stem biomass in both top and bottom portions of the plant compared with GA-2. Cultivar ICPL-87 seems to survive drought better than GA-2 or GA-3. Cultivars with highest total biomass often had highest total N content, component biomass and N content. Dry matter digestibility of these plant parts is currently being analyzed to obtain information on total nutritive value. These results suggest that pigeonpea has the potential to provide high quality forage when other warm- and cool-season forages are low in production and quality.