Cover Crops, Cowpea and Farmer's Perception of Sustainability in Alabama, Georgia,and Tennessee

Eleonora Troyanovskaya, Tennessee State University


Despite the availability of educational material and federal funding for cover crops, the results of the SARE national cover crop survey demonstrated a low response from Southern states. Cowpea is a Southern cuisine staple and historically has been used as a forage crop in the region. However, green and dry seeds cowpea production is declining and use as a forage and cover crop is unclear. Presented is a two-phase mix-methods study which clarifies and discuss the status of cover crops, cowpea and farmer’s perception of sustainability in three states: Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The novelty of this work resides in the combination of the main topic, geographic area, study population (Extension Service Agents and producers) and methodology. The results showed that summer cover crops are not a common practice, but when it is applied, cowpea is used in summer cover crop mixes. Commercial dry seed cowpea production is limited by the demands of local processing companies. More often, cowpea is grown by Small Family and Non-profit farmers. Forage Cowpea cultivar is the most common variety in Tennessee. We discuss ways to encourage cover cropping among Southern farmers by developing educational material tailored to the regional conditions.

Subject Area

Agriculture|Plant sciences|Agricultural education

Recommended Citation

Eleonora Troyanovskaya, "Cover Crops, Cowpea and Farmer's Perception of Sustainability in Alabama, Georgia,and Tennessee" (2019). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI13815061.