Some Possibilities of the Cow Pea in Macon County, Alabama



Source of Digital Item

National Agricultural Library


The cow pea is rightfully looked upon by many as the poor man’s bank or mortgage-lifter. I think I am safe in the assertion that there is no crop grown in the South which possesses so many good qualities and is so easily grown as the cow pea.

It is a matter of much regret that every colored farmer in Macon County does not plant at least three acres in peas.

In 1902 the entire state planted only 91,126 acres in peas, and produced the surprisingly small amount of 665,388 bushels — just a trifle above 7 bushels per acre. The yield should not have fallen below 1,822,520 bushels.

It is interesting to note that, for the last 15 years, cow peas in this country have sold, in the spring, at a high price. The prices this year (June 11th) ranged from $2.50 to $3.00 per bushel and they were exceedingly difficult to get at these prices, because the farmers did not have them. With a little attention the pea can be made to yield far better returns, all things considered, than cotton. The colored farmers alone in Macon County ought to produce with the greatest of ease, 125,000 bushels of peas and many thousand tons of valuable hay.


For nearly one hundred years the cow pea has been the chief leguminous (pod-bearing) crop throughout the entire group of Southern States. About fifty varieties have been cultivated to a greater or lesser extent in the United States, and every year its value is becoming better known and more highly appreciated, as is evidenced by the increased acreage planted wherever it can be grown.


Some Possibilities of the Cow Pea in Macon County, Alabama