The potential of pigeonpea for forage and seed production in semi-arid Botswana. (78)
Keywords:Pigeonpea, Accession, Forage, Seed production, Coppicing, Botswana
AbstractNineteen pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) accessions were evaluated for forage production, nutritive value, and seed yield over three growing seasons. Significant variation in forage yields from both the annually-grown crops (0.9-2.6 t ha-1) and re-growths (0.1-0.6 t ha-1) were recorded. Seed yields (0.4-1.7 t ha-1) from the medium-duration maturity accessions were consistently superior to yields from the long-duration maturity accessions (0.2-1.7 t ha-1) and did not fluctuate through seasons. Plant survival after coppicing varied from 22% to 59% of the annually-sown crop. The N (2.0-3.7%), Ca (0.7-1.4%), and K (1.2-2.3%) concentrations in the dry matter were adequate for beef animal production, but the P concentrations (0.04-0.2%) were often inadequate and all accessions contained Ca:P ratios exceeding 5:1. The forage digestibility levels (47-55%) indicated that these accessions could support low to medium levels of beef production.