Cow Peas



Source of Digital Item

National Agricultural Library


Every year the demand for an increased quantity and better quality of nutritious forage for animals, and a wider range of food stuffs for man has suggested a basis for some very careful and interesting study. Experiment Stations, as well as individuals, have devoted much time and means to this line of investigation. Plants of many different genera, species and varieties have been brought from India, China, Japan, Russia and other places. Many of these have proven worthless, while a few were of local importance only, still others are being tested with a considerable degree of promise.

Before we can appreciate the cowpea, or any of the legumes (pod-bearing plants), it is quite necessary that we fix clearly in our minds the following four laws of the great German chemist, Justus Von Liebig, with reference to soil fertility:

First. A soil can be termed fertile only when it contains all of the materials requisite, or necessary for the nutrition of plants in the required quantity and in the proper form.

Second. With every crop a portion of these ingredients is removed. A part of this portion is again added from the inexhaustible store of the atmosphere; another part is lost forever if not restored by man.

Third. The fertility of the soil remains unchanged if all the ingredients of a crop are given back to the land. Such a restitution is effected by fertilizers.

Fourth. The fertilizers produced in the course of animal husbandry are not sufficient to maintain permanently the fertility of a farm; it lacks the constituents which are annually exported in the shape of grain, hay, milk, and livestock.

In connection with the above facts, every progressive farmer recognizes that certain crops exhaust or make his soil poorer, and certain others build it up or make it richer. He is also aware that a better crop follows a pod-bearing one, such as peas, beans, clovers, vetches, peanuts, etc.; therefore, they are absolutely indispensable in a wise crop rotation, and in the rational feeding of both man and beast.


Cow Peas


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