A Niche for Cowpea in Sub-Tropical Australia?
Lindsay W. Bell | Andrew T. James | Mary Ann Augustin | Artur Rombenso | David Blyth | Cedric Simon | Thomas J. V. Higgins | Jose M. Barrero
Pulses have emerged as important rotation crops in Australia. Some are in demand in agricultural production systems due to their high potential market value, because of their roles as grain or forage crops, their nitrogen fixation capability, and because they provide a disease break or improve soil health. While several pulse crops have been identified for winter-season cropping, there are few adapted legumes apart from mungbean that are appropriate for dryland summer cropping. Currently, short-duration crops of mungbean are commonly used, but yields are highly variable and susceptible to drought. Here, we propose that cowpea has the potential to become an alternative rotation crop in dryland summer cropping zones, providing a competitive and profitable alternative pulse crop option where its drought tolerance could enable better performance under inconsistent in-crop rainfall. We demonstrate that cowpea has nutritional properties and putative uses that could prove valuable in emerging plant-based protein and aquaculture markets.Show more [+] Less [-]