Field performance, yield and crude protein content of two varieties of pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan] as affected by tillage, spacing and intercropping with corn [Zea mays]
Pigeon pea is a drought-tolerant legume crop grown extensively in India, east Africa and the Caribbean for its high protein edible bean, edible green pods and animal fodder. Interest in pigeon pea is growing in the United States, especially in southern states where long growing seasons allow the crop to mature. Two varieties of pigeon pea (GA1, GA2) were studied in relationship to cropping systems, tillage methods, and row spacings during the 2013 and 2014 growing season. Treatments were: Two varieties of mono-cropped pigeon pea and pigeon pea intercropped with field corn planted in soil prepared by conventional tractor tillage and a no-till planting system using spacing of 20" and 40" between rows. These sixteen combinations were planted in three replications for a total of 48 plots. The study was conducted on an Armour silt loam soil (fine-silty, mixed, active, thermic ultic hapludalf) in Nashville, TN. Pigeon pea field performance, biomass, seed yield and crude protein content were the characteristics measured. Corn yields were also measured to determine synergistic effects of intercropping. Between years, significant differences existed for field performance, biomass, and seed yield, likely due to earlier planting in 2014. Field performance, consisting of plant height, stem diameter, podset, canopy coverage, and other variables, was influenced by variety and cropping system in most cases, while spacing and tillage had limited effects. Biomass and seed yield were negatively affected by intercropping, while crude protein content was generally unaffected by any treatment. Intercropping with corn increased cost for weed control, harvest, and fertilizer, while decreasing yield and biomass for both varieties. Corn was not mechanically harvestable until pigeon pea maturity, increasing harvest loss due to weather and pests. Results indicated that early planting and use of short-day varieties increased yield in Middle Tennessee and that mono-cropping pigeon pea decreased cost in a mechanized farming operation.
Andrew K Lotze,
"Field performance, yield and crude protein content of two varieties of pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan] as affected by tillage, spacing and intercropping with corn [Zea mays]"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.