EVALUATION OF FORAGE TYPE COWPEA (VIGNA UNGUICULATA L.WALP.) ACCESSIONS FOR DRY MATTER YIELD IN LOWLANDS OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
TESSEMA TESFAYE ATUMO*
Southern Agricultural Research Institute (SARI),
Arba Minch Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 2228, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
*(e-mail : email@example.com)
(Received : 4 September 2018; Accepted : 15 September 2018)
Six accessions of Vigna unguiculata L.Walp, were evaluated for agro-morphological differences at five locations in lowlands of Southern Ethiopia, 2017. The experiment was conducted in randomized complete block design with four replications. Data on days to 50% flowering, plant height, branch number per plant and dry matter yield were recorded and analyzed. All measured parameters showed significant (P<0.05) difference among the tested cow pea accessions at all experimental locations. Longer days to 50% flowering, taller plant height and higher number of branches per plant over the growing period were recorded at Salayish2 than all other experimental locations. The difference between late and early flowering and maturing accessions for forage harvest was 90 days at Chano substation and 55.75 days at Angela4. Local cowpea was early flowering and maturing having lower dry matter and forage harvest whereas ILRI-9334A accession very late to flower and mature. Number of branches per plant at Chano substation for local cow pea was five whereas 20 for accession ILRI-11114A at Salayish3. Taller cowpea accession gave better dry matter yield at forage harvest. Thus, ILRI-12713A (16.1 t/ha) cow pea accession showed higher dry matter yield at Chano substation and lower dry matter yield was recorded for local (2.3 t/ha) cowpea at Angela4. Accession ILRI-12713A would be a promising accession in the low lands of Southern Ethiopia for its medium days to 50% flower and optimum forage harvest, intermediate plant height with slightly erect for soil coverage, moderate number of branches and higher dry matter yield in all experimental locations.