PRESS BULLETIN 220
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
COWPEAS FOR HOG PASTURE
BY J. M. SCOTT
It will be most profitable for the average Florida farmer to supply his hogs
with an abundance of green pasture. Hogs kept on dry feeds the greater por-
tion of the year are not as thrifty and do not grow as rapidly as those that are
given a liberal allowance of green feed. It requires from 14 to 24 months for
the range hog to grow to market size. A hog of the same size can be grown in
8 to 10 months when properly fed.
The cowpea is a crop that does best in a soil of warm sandy loam. Hence,
it is a crop well suited to Florida conditions. It is a short season crop, requir-
ing from sixty to ninety days to mature, according to the season and the varie-
ty. Therefore, it may be planted as a catch crop or as an after crop. By this
we mean it may be planted after the spring and summer vegetables are harves-
ted, or it may be planted in between the rows of corn at the last cultivation.
When grown to be used as a pasture for hogs, cowpeas can be planted at
any time from the middle of March until the first of August. To get the best
results from cowpeas as pasture, they should be planted at intervals of two
weeks. By planting every two weeks, fresh pasture can be had for the hogs at
all times during the spring, summer, and early fall. When one plot of ground
is pastured off it can be plowed up and replanted, so that the same piece of
ground will grow two or three crops during the year.
Cowpeas should be planted in a well prepared seed-bed. This can be pre-
pared by thoroughly plowing the ground, and then using a good tooth harrow.
When a good seed-bed has been prepared, mark off the rows two, or two and a
half feet apart. Plant the seed at the rate of about one-half bushel per acre.
As soon as the young plants are one to two inches high, give good cultivation.
Perhaps two cultivations will be all that is necessary. When the crop reaches
a height of fifteen to eighteen inches, it will be time to begin pasturing. Un-
Februaryl 21, 1914
der favorable conditions the crop will be ready to pasture in about six or eight
weeks after planting.
Some prefer to sow the seed broadcast. If sown broadcast, one bushel or a
bushel and a half of seed should be sown per acre.
When cowpeas are planted between the rows of corn at the last cultivation
they may be allowed to mature, or kept until about the time the first pods be-
gin to turn yellow. When fed to hogs at this stage of maturity along with
corn, it will be found that the hogs will make rapid gains, and will produce
pork of a good quality.
There are many varieties of cowpeas. There are, however, some varieties
better adapted to our conditions than others. Out of over a hundred and fifty
varieties tested at the Experiment Station we found that the Brabham and Iron
gave the best results.
It will not be found necessary to apply fertilizer for cowpeas, unless they
are planted on poor sandy soil.
State papers please copy.