The pigeon pea (Cajanus indicus)


Material Information

The pigeon pea (Cajanus indicus) its culture and utilization in Hawaii
Series Title:
Bulletin / Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Physical Description:
23 p., 5 p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Krauss, F. G ( Frederick George ), 1870-1962
U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Pigeon pea   ( lcsh )
Pigeon pea -- Hawaii   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by F.G. Krauss.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029612938
oclc - 16324323
lcc - S52 .E1 no. 32-50
System ID:

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Full Text
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J. M. WESTGATE, Agronomist in Charge,
Honolulu, Hawaii.

Under the Supervision of the STATES RELATIONS SERVICE,
Office of Experiment Stations, U. S. Department of Agriculture.





F. G. KRAUSS, Superintendent of Extension Division.


Issued December 16, 1921


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[Under the supervision of A. C. TRUE, Director, States Relations Service, United A.
Department of Agriculture.]

E. W. ALLEN, Chief, Ofice of Experiment Stations.
WALTER H. EVANS, Chief, Division of Insular Stations,
Office of Experiment Stations.


J. M. WESTGATE, Agronomist in Charge.
F. G. KRAUSS, Superintendent of Extension Division.
H. L. CHUNG, Agronomist.
W. T. POPE, Horticulturist.
J. C. RIPPERTON, Assistant Chemist.
R. A. GOFF, In Charge of Glenwood Substation and
Extension Agent for Island of Hawaii.


Page. Page.
Introduction...---------------- 3 Pigeon pea as feed --------- 15
Botany and agricultural history.-- 5 Feeding value----------- 15
Climatic and soil adaptations--- 7 Milling and mixing feeds------ 16
Planting ---------------_-- 8 Suggested feeding rations-- 18
The hay crop -------_----------9 Plowing under of pigeon peas ----- 20
Harvesting ------------ 9 Pigeon peas as a cover and green-
Curing------------------- 10 manuring crop, and for rotation-- 20
The seed crop --------------- 13 Pests and diseases -------_--- 22
Harvesting ------------- 13
Thrashing --------_----- 14


The pigeon pea, also commonly called the Porto Rican pea, was
introduced into Hawaii from Porto Rico. It has been grown in a
limited way in Hawaii for at least 20 years and is now commonly
cultivated as a back-yard shrub. It does not appear, however, to
have been thought of as a field crop until comparatively recently.
Between the years 1906 and 1908, the Hawaii Experiment Station
grew several varieties or types of pigeon peas as an experiment; and
in a comparative test with leguminous field crops that had been given
extensive trials the pigeon pea was found to attract especial atten-
tion on account of its vigorous growth and heavy seeding qualities.
In the experiment just referred to, three test rows, each 100 feet long,
were spaced 10 feet apart. The middle row was planted to the
variety known at the station as No. 218, which yielded 102 pounds
of prime seed within eight months from the time of planting. This
was at the rate of 1.02 pounds per running foot of row; and if cal-
culated to acre yields, the product would amount to nearly 21 tons
of shelled seed per acre. The plant, being a perennial, yielded two
subsequent crops which were harvested within the succeeding 12
months, the combined yield of seed approximating that of the initial
crop. The seed of this variety (No. 218) was well distributed and
undoubtedly is now to be found growing in widely scattered sec-
tions of the islands.
Bee also Hawaii Sta. Bul. 23 (1911), pp. 21-23.


As early as 1910, reports from Fred S. Lyman, of Pupakea, O
and others stated that the stems of the pigeon pea and the accompa
ing seed in pod, when harvested and fed fresh from the plant, we
proving an excellent feed for work horses, mules, dairy cows, aud
poultry; and that all kinds of stock browse freely upon the growing
plants. Of the pigeon pea as a green manuring and iodvr 'tMj~
C. G. White, of Haiku, Maui, wrote in 1910:
It is the hardiest legume of all I have tried at Haiku. It maintains itselfi:
for years, and no insects have seriously bothered it so far. It does not start
well when planted in winter, but November plantings loiter along and grow
vigorously at the coming of warm weather. Its chief drawback is its size.
With special care and arrangements, plowing one-half acre a day, I have turned
it under fairly well when four years old, using a disk plow and four large
mules. In three months' time the plants had rotted so that it gave :a
trouble in replowing and fitting the land in good shape. The best 'ot& ,
I ever grew followed these peas.
James Munro makes the following statements regarding thde %e i0 1 i
pigeon peas:
Pigeon peas have been used on this ranch (Molokai) since 1910, first as a ii
windbreak and later as a soil renovator in worn-out corn fields. The crop was :
found to be a good soil renovator, but expensive when bringing the land back
into cultivation on account of the rank growth, which left very heavy stumps
to be disposed of. The pigeon peas are planted at 800-foot elevations in row.2
4 feet apart in clean cultivation, either in the fall or spring, giving preferdneeii
to the fall because there is more time available then. Rainfall averages abei"'!
32 inches yearly and the fields are favored with the trade rains in March andi
April, during which months there is an average rainfall of 5 to 6 inches.. Undeaz
these conditions pigeon peas make a rank growth, and so long as the soil does
not get too hard they will last through a dry summer with stocking after the
grasses have failed.
The fenced, 60-acre lot used for the soil renovation test was used at the bame i
time for fattening steers for market. Not more than 60 head were allowed; on
the lot at one time. These got very fat and the field could have carried mnre,
Pigeon peas should not be pastured until the plants have flowered and the b od
are beginning to set, because it is on the pea pods that the cattle grize. The
will also eat the leaves when hard up for feed, but in this case they will btet
down and destroy the plant.
The freckled variety has proved an excellent chicken feed. The chickens we i"
turned out in the peas, and the bushes beaten in dry weather to thrash Qltf the
peas. Two varieties have been grown together here without seeming to cross.
The great thing about pigeon peas is, like corn, to get it through its
stages without its being destroyed by caterpillars.
Although the Hawaii Experiment Station had advocated the poa-
sible value of the pigeon pea as a field crop as early as 1907, a4n
had been instrumental in getting under way the field plantings abo0-v
noted, little or no progress was made in Hawaii-with it as a V'
crop, so far as can be determined, until the establishment of
Haiku demonstration and experiment farm on the island of
in 1914. Land on that island that failed to produce 25 bushei:i.


corn per acre after receiving the best cultivation produced a very
fine crop when it was planted to pigeon peas under the same condi-
tions. In the succeeding three years 20 acres was planted to pigeon
peas, which were regularly harvested as a seed and forage crop.
Five tons of seed has been distributed for planting, 100 tons of hay
cured, and half the above-mentioned amounts of hay and grain have
been milled and fed, either alone or in combination with other feeds
to all kinds of live stock. In 1918 and 1919 fully 500 acres was
planted to the crop on the island of Maui, and by the end of 1920
more than 1,000 acres was growing in the Haiku district alone.
During 1919 one Haiku ranch harvested more than 10 tons daily
from 350 acres planted to this crop. This was cured and milled in
an up-to-date milling plant, and formed the basic constituent of
hundreds of tons of mixed feed turned out during the past year.
The managers of a Lanai ranch have become so favorably impressed
with the possibilities of this new crop that they have under way
plantings covering an aggregate of 2,000 acres.
A Molokai ranch has marketed some of its best conditioned steers
from pigeon-pea pasture. At the Haiku demonstration and experi-
ment farm, work mules, horses, milk cows, swine, and poultry were
fed pigeon peas as a large part of their ration covering a period of
four years. Corn, in 100-bushel crops, and pineapples, in 20-ton
crops, were grown on lands that were renovated by the culture and
turning under of pigeon peas after the peas had served well their
purpose first as a harvested crop, then as a pasture, and finally as
green manure.

The pigeon pea (Cajanus indicus or C. cajan) is an erect
leguminous shrub, attaining a height of 3 to 10 feet under ordinary
culture in Hawaii. The leaves are 3-foliate, the racemed flowers
either yellow, or red and yellow, and the ovary is subsessile and has
few ovules. The pods vary greatly in size and shape in the different
varieties, but are usually 3, 4, or 5 seeded and constricted between
the seeds by oblique linear depressions. When not crowded, the
plants branch freely well to the base. The stems are slender but
heavily foliaged in most varieties, and especially so after the plant
has been cut back in the first harvest.
The generic name Cajanus is derived from the Malayan name,
Katjang, and the only species is C. indicus or C. cajan. Some doubt
exists as to whether this species was originally a native of India or
of tropical Africa. It is extensively cultivated throughout India,
even up to an altitude of 6,000 feet. In Porto Rico, whence the first
seeds planted in Hawaii came some 20 or more years ago, two prin-


cipal varieties are recognized. The variety now known 'aet.:k
station as No. 218 (probably C. indicus flaVe) produces rather ..
seed similar to that of the Iron or Clay cowpea (P1. I, fig. 1). It
a heavy seed bearer and very much liked by Porto Ricans as ioo,
either as green peas, or as dry-shelled peas, which are prepared 'wea
much the same as cowpeas are in the Southern States. Sttion
variety No. 219 (probably C. indicus bicolor) has yellow flower
tinged with red (P1. I, fig. 2). These are in direct contrast to thei
pure yellow flowers borne by No. 218, and the pods are streakM
or blotched with red on a green background. The seeds are light
gray and faintly speckled. They are also somewhat larger and more
spherical than the solid red seeds of variety No. 218. The maia
economic agricultural distinction, however, as now recognized, I '
that No. 218 is early maturing and very heavy seeding, yieldingt'
heavy crop of seeds within seven or eight months from the time bf
planting, but attaining in the second year a height of only 8 or
feet. On the other hand, variety No. 219 does not begin to yield it Q
maximum crop of seed until the second year, bht since it is heavily ,
foliaged and attains a height of from 6 to 10 feet, it is valuable as a A
temporary windbreak as well as for forage and green manuring.
Special reference should be made to the root system of the pigeon
pea. The plant is furnished with a long taproot and many branch-
ing lateral roots that are abundantly supplied with large clusters
of nitrogen-storing nodules. These nodules in some instances ex-
ceed the number found on any other of the many legumes studied at
this station. No case has come under observation where the seed of
pigeon peas required artificial inoculation. The root nodules seem
to be present naturally and without exception.
The pigeon pea shows considerable tendency to cross-pollinate
when several varieties are grown together. This results in the formaup-
tion of numerous crosses showing a greater or less variation in char-,
acters. Comparatively few of these appear to be constant, although .
several superior types have been established and are new being
propagated with a view to wider distribution. While only slightlyA .
variable within the old-established varieties, such as that known as i
No. 218, careful selective breeding has established a superior and very
uniform strain of an early maturing, heavy seeding type which th
station has designated "New Era." A field of 5 acres of thif
strain is being grown for seed.
Alonzo Gartley, of Honolulu, called attention to four well-estab
lished varieties of the pigeon pea, which he designates as (1) the
Oahu type (apparently station variety No. 218 before its pres-
ent improvement); the Maui type (apparently station variety N0
219); (3) the Hawaii type (apparently the small-seeded India ..
riety which was first introduced by the experiment station of .,


Sugar Planters' Association, and the seed given some years ago
to the writer by H. L. Lyon; and (4) the Kauai type (which is
similar to the Maui type, excepting that the seed is larger and lighter
colored than the Maui type).

The pigeon pea is primarily a dry-land crop, especially when it is
considered mainly for seed production. The heaviest yields of seed
have been produced at Haiku during warm, dry seasons. Where the
soil is of reasonable depth and fertility and in fair tilth the plants
thrive remarkably well even during protracted droughts such as pre-
vailed in the Haiku district during 1918 and 1919. A fine crop
planted March 15, 1919, and photographed October 15, 1919, devel-
oped to perfect maturity on a total of less than 20 inches of rainfall.
(Pl. II, fig. 1.) Only one cultivation was given the crop after the
intercrop of corn was harvested in 'July. (P1. II, fig. 2.) No other
crop is known that would prove so successful under like conditions.
Doubtless many people will recall having seen neglected pigeon pea
plants thriving as well in dry, stony places as though they were being
cultivated in a garden. Although suited to dry conditions, the pigeon
pea adapts itself to many and varied conditions. Adequate moisture
merely adds to the luxuriance of its growth and if, in addition, the
soil is rich, the seeding period will merely be delayed to a time when
the plant is unable to bear more foliage. Excessively wet districts,
for example, Glenwood, on the island of Hawaii, and Nahiku, on the
island of Maui, are, however, not adapted to the profitable culture of
the pigeon pea, nor is the crop adapted to irrigation farming. As
stated before, its great value rests upon its ability to produce abun-
dantly and most economically a nutritious herbage under semiarid
conditions. Such conditions at best would be adverse to most other
forage crops.
Its range of adaptability to the seasons, to varying altitudes, and
to an almost unlimited- variety of soil conditions is one of the striking
characteristics of this unique field crop. At the Haiku demonstration
and experiment farm spring and fall plantings have been equally
successful. When planted in February, March, or April the plant
begins to bear its first crop of seeds from August to October and con-
tinues to flower and fruit well into midwinter, provided the pods are
kept picked. No treatment other than that of keeping the maturing
pods continually picked will cause heavy fruiting and large yields
of seed. Spring is considered the most favorable time for planting
pigeon peas, because the plants then start growth rapidly and branch
rather freely. Furthermore, at this season of the year a wide selec-
tion of crops is available for intercropping with the pigeon pea.


Planting in August, September, .or October, to follow th
other summer harvests, is.practicable when the ground contain'
cient moisture to germinate the seed. However, no. i
should be attempted with fall. planting of the pigeon pjim4 .
fall planting is followed by either an excessively dry or wet
winter, the crop will, as- C. G. White has stated, "loiter along
awhile and then start off vigorously at the coming of warm w
Such plantings often produce the strongest legumes. They i
gin to flower as early as May and yield seed abundantly byl
July, especially in the more protected lowlands where the
light and well drained. Under such conditions the fruiting. .
may continue for a period of six months, from July to Deeev*i
The following year, both from spring and fall plantings, tw..
tinct fruiting seasons, the spring and summer crop and the fa!"
winter crop, will have established themselves. Under unusual; I'..
editions the plaAts may continue to flower and bear seed th 7
the year. .
In its adaptation to a wide variety of soils, the pigeon :
equalled by few other crops. A deep, well-drained, medium a
loam is conducive to the best development and longest life o'
crop; however, it thrives in light, loose, sandy soils having sca4
moisture from the gravelly and stony type to heavy clay loams.n o
close texture and considerable moisture content, provided there is Aoc
standing water on the ground. Furthermore, the crop seems to
tolerant of salty soil conditions, plants having been noted to t%
in soils containing fully 0.0005 gram of sodium chlorid per gram i
soil. In soils containing twice this amount of salt they were dwarfk d
and failed to seed freely, while a content of 0.005 gram of sodium:
chlorid per gram of soil seemed to be wholly destructive to growi
It is thought that many of the extensive barren sandy wastes bord i
ing the seashore might be reclaimed and made of great use by paa-
ing them to pigeon peas. Seed stocks are being widely distribu4
at present with a view to testing further the adaptability of the crop.:
to these conditions.
It has already been shown that the crop finds a natural habi tat N
the lowlands, but it is by no means confined to low elevations.
is stated that in the Himalayas, the pigeon pea plant thrives a aki
altitude of 6,000 feet. In Hawaii thriving plants have been founi
at an elevation of 3,000 feet.
It is advisable to prepare the land thoroughly before planting :
to pigeon peas. After the crop is established, little or no cultiva'
is required to get good results from it, but the young plants ,.,
off slowly and make only a spindling growth for the first month

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Bul.46, Hawaii Agr. Expt. Station.






... ...... .. ..



....r. r this period it pays to run a one-horse cultivator be-
i e i thtF rows to keep down the weeds, and for this reason the
fp sh....ould be spaced evenly. This can easily be done if a "marker"
: .4 ed. A marker can be made by spiking three 2 by 6 inch runners,
inches long, to the underside of a 2 by 12 inch plank, 10 feet
Long, one runner being placed at each end of the plank, and one in
the center. A light wagon tongue should then be fastened to the
plank and a steady team used to drag the marker. The one-horse
seed drill will have an accurate guide to follow. A skillful driver
should mark off 20 acres a day. If the planting is to be done in
Rough ground where plowing and tillage are impracticable, holes
tan be dug approximately 5 by 5 feet apart and several seeds dropped
in each hill.
When pigeon peas are grown for seed purposes it is recommended
that the rows be spaced 4 or 5 feet apart, depending upon the fer-
tility and moisture conditions of the soil. Naturally the more favor-
able the growing conditions are, the larger the plants will be and the
more space they will require for best development. At Haiku, the
seed is planted in rows 5 feet apart and intercropped with some quick-
maturing crop such as corn, beans, potatoes, peanuts, and the like.
By the time these are harvested, the pigeon peas begin to occupy the
intervening space. If the crop is wanted for green manuring, it
is advisable to space the rows only half as wide as when the crop
is to be grown primarily for seed; that is, they should be 24 to 30
inches apart.
The best and most economical method for planting the seed found
so far is the use of a one-horse seed drill adjusted to drop the seed
approximately 6 inches apart. This is considered the most favor-
able distance in the row for seed production. With this equipment
a skilled workman should readily plant from 4 to 5 acres per day.
From 8 to 10 pounds of seed will plant an acre. The seed may also
be broadcasted, but such a practice is not recommended. Weeds are
likely to smother the young seedlings, ahd if the plants are over-
cFowded, seed production will be seriously curtailed. Furthermore,
light seeding is essential to make the scant available moisture ade-
quate for even so drought resistant a crop as the pigeon pea.
The best time to harvest the pigeon pea crop for hay is when a
Large percentage of the pods is mature because a large part of the
nutritive value of the plant is contained in the seed. So heavily do
sie strains seed that fully one-fourth of the forage is made up of
Sgrain.. 5One great advantage of the pigeon pea over many other


leguminous seed crops is that its pods do not shatter their seei&
when they are roughly handled. '
Since the pigeon pea produces a stiff, woody stem, it has bees
found desirable to harvest not more than the upper third, or, at
most, the upper half of the plant, unless the plants are very spindling .
and sparse, as they sometimes are on poor thin soils duringe ry
season. It has been the practice at Haiku to cut back adl.h..lii l.
third in the first harvest and a third to a fourth in su
vests, depending upon the growth made by the plants. Thi6' en
in such cases do not exceed the thickness of a lead pencil, a i: tiyNi
bear practically all the pods on the plant at that time. I:
The greatest problem thus far encountered is in the mIm lea4
part of the harvesting. No ordinary mowing or harvesting 71i:.:
now on the market will handle the crop as it is being grown at p ::.-
ent. A short-knifed wheat header, such as is used in harvest
wheat and barley in California, if especially strongly built, has bein
suggested as a practicable contrivance. The Haiku ranch; which
has several hundred acres in pigeon peas, has had underway, with
some likelihood of success, the modification of a modern corn hair
vester. Doubtless, when the acreage becomes large enough, imple-
ment manufacturers will become sufficiently interested to undertake
the manufacture of a suitable implement. In the meantime, the-most
practical way thus far devised is to cut the stems by the use of the
short, strong-bladed, Chinese grass hook, or sickle. The workman
grasps a cluster of stems with his left hand and readily cuts through
the stiff stems with a strong, swift, drawing motion of the sickle
blade. The handful of fodder is then laid upon the cut surface of
the plant from which it was just harvested. The plants thus serv
as an admirable support for wilting of the fodder preparatory to
loading it on the curing trucks or stacking or for holding the fresh-
cut material for immediate gathering by the crew following the
cutters. These temporary supports are usually about waist high.
Loading the crop on the curing truck, or on wagons for haulage,
presents another difficulty, and as now done by hand, is slow ant
uneconomical. The present methods of loading the green pigeon
pea stems are shown in Plate III, figure 1. Bundles making fls
armful for a man weigh about 40 pounds. They can not be handled.
with a pitchfork because the mass does not well hold together. T
California grain-header idea might help to solve this problem, si :: .
the crop as harvested would be elevated directly into the accompa.S ~
ing wagons. .,,
The most practical and efficient way to cure the crop is by means of
portable curing trucks and stationary raised platforms, the latt
built at convenient places in the field. Under this system, the ma..


rial to be cured is supported a foot or more above the ground. The
floor is slatted, and all four sides are open to free circulation of the
air and wind. It is the action of the wind even more than that of
the sun which makes for a well-cured stack of hay. At Haiku it
is the practice to load as soon after the forage is cut as is practicable,
often within an hour after harvesting. However, if no wind is blow-
ing, which is seldom the case at Haiku, and the fodder is exception-
ally lush or succulent, it may be left lying on the plants as above
described for a half day or so. If the sun is bright, fully half of
the free moisture in the forage will have evaporated in this time.
Ordinarily, however, the crop is loaded within an hour or two of
harvest, and where sound judgment is exercised no spoilage results
from the practice.
When excessive rains occur during the 7 to 10 days required for
curing under favorable conditions, tarpaulins are thrown over the
top of the stack, but not over the sides, because as free a circulation
of air as is possible is needed to prevent overheating and consequent
spoilage. Some drawbacks were found to the use of impervious
coverings when they were placed over a freshly stacked load of
pigeon peas; and it was feared that spoilage would result if such
coverings were left on too long. This would undoubtedly be the
case were a protracted wet spell to occur while the coverings were on.
To overcome this difficulty, Dr. W. D. Baldwin, of Haiku, suggested
the use of grass-thatched coverings or roofs, which, while they
allowed free circulation of air, at the same time provided perfect pro-
tection against the heaviest rains. Through Dr. Baldwin's interest
in advancing this work, it was possible to construct the experimental
structure shown in Plate III, figure 2. It was first thought that the
thatched "blanket" could be used as a tarpaulin, but it was found
too cumbersome for this purpose, and it was placed over a frame of
bamboo as a permanent structure. It was of just the right dimen-
sions to permit the loaded curing truck to pass under. After having
been used for a year or more with the utmost satisfaction, this pro-
tection, unfortunately, was wrecked by a severe windstorm. Its
total initial cost, mainly for labor, was about $40, and there is no
doubt that it saved five times that amount in preventing loss when
hay was being cured in bad weather. This method is recommended
for trial to all who are interested in the curing of any kind of forage
in rainy districts.
The Haiku ranch is now curing hundreds of tons of pigeon-pea
hay in large, open sheds, and from these the cured hay is either
baled or ground. This method is apparently proving entirely satis-
Hay-curing truck.--Of the two types of hay-curing trucks in use
at the Haiku demonstration and experiment farm, the one illustrated


is adapted to all forage dcips grown in Hawai-l atj h i
to farmers for trial. r i
This truck can be built by any farm blacksmith ini`
days at a total cost not exceeding $30. The bed of th&
truck is 12 feet long and 7 feet wide, and holds from t
to one and a quarter tons of cured pigeon pea hay, depen
the skill of the loaders. The truck body is supported by twi .
iron wheels, which have 4-inch tires and run on an axle placeM&iu0
4 feet from the rear end of the V-shaped frame shbwn as A. A:.
reinforced pipe makes an excellent axle. When the loadedI

:. ... '..::

It 11 I

FI. 1.-Hay-curing truck. Main frame of truck (A), with rack indicated by dotted,,
that it swings easily backward when the truck is being ha
is cut to receiveI I a 2 by 4 II nch ridgepole that supports the

spaced to allow the air to circulate freely from the bi
coupling device is fastened to each end of the truck e
I I II a low-wheeled wagon, furnished
doubletrees for two horses, is coupled to the front of the t
II .l IAr. rim '
ji I II li
g i, i I ,, m,

ii Ii Im

FIc. l.--Hay-curing truck. Main frame of truck (A), with rack indicated by dttpd .01
and side view (B) showing trigger and position of wheels.

is at rest, as when left in the field for the hay to cure, or whek itUi"
being loaded, or baled from, the front end is supported at thepe:-:ifl
of the V by a prop to keep the truck level. This prop is hin S t
that it swings easily backward when the truck is being h
The standards at each end run to a point at the top, where Ao
is cut to receive a 2 by 4 inch ridgepole that supports thhe:
when used as a protection from rain. The floor of the t.*
made up of seven 2 by 4 inch scantlings, 12 feet long and'.
spaced to allow the air to circulate freely from the b ....
coupling device is fastened to each end of the truck h' '"",
running gear of a low-wheeled wagon, furnished w.i.thI4) .$ 0.
doubletrees for two horses, is coupled to the front of thetruck
SU. S. Dept. Agr., Farmers' Bul. 956 (1918). ..

Bul 45, Hawaii Agr. Expt. Station






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Bul. 46, Hawaii Agr. Expt. Station.


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: "4






? iveral additional trucks, may- be coupled on behind and
from the field.
t curing platformn.-In addition to the portable truck
Above, several permanent curing platforms have been
:at convenient locations in the field (Pl. IV, fig. 2). These
'be constructed to any length desired, but experience has shown
Sthe width should not exceed 7 or 8 feet, since a mass of green
i of not more than this width will cure with little danger of
especially if the longest axis is set at right angles to the
r ng wind. The principal advantage in these permanent cur-
Ilatforms is their low initial cost. Strong bamboo poles, or
ptus saplings, if available, make admirable platforms at a
low cost.
"The pigeon pea may be harvested for seed in two ways: Either
the pods may be hand-picked from the growing plants and then
thrashed, or the pod-bearing stems may be harvested in the same
iay that they are harvested for hay. In the latter case, the forage
passing through the thrasher will become shredded to such an
extent that it will be more palatable. Of course, such shredded
material will be devoid of the nutritious grain, and should there-
fore be classed as straw rather than hay. During the past two years
it has been the practice at Haiku to pick by hand all seed intended
1:: planting. This, while it may be slightly more expensive than
ti e other method, insures better developed seed and considerably
e chances the total yields of seed, at least doubling the production in
in most cases. By this method the plants are picked over three or four
times per crop, the intervals between picking being from two to four
All hand-picking of pods is done on contract, originally at a cost
~1 5 cents per 100 pounds of pods,3 but during the past year the
price was raised to $1.50 per 100 pounds. The work is well suited to
women and children, and an active adult may pick 100 pounds or
more of pods in eight hours. The pods are picked and dropped into
common grain bags. No heavy lifting is required for this work
because a well-filled barley bag weighs only 25 pounds. Groups of
four and five persons doing this work have earned $5 a day without
undue effort.
:The tenacity with which the plants hold the pods and the pods
'eir seed is remarkable. At the Haiku substation observations have
SWiCoreteally, prime pods yield approximately 60 per cent of their weight in seed. In
S. About 50 per cent of total weight of pods is recovered.


shown mature pods to adhere to the plant for fully 60 days wi
shattering any seed. Continued rain for a considerable peroi
required to cause the seed to mold within the pod. This isexpl
by the fact that the pods are borne at the extremities of the arighl,
branches, where they are enabled to dry off rapidly. The poi i!!
selves are practically impervious to water.
Thrashing the seed directly from the stems requires a ra
strongly constructed machine. For this purpose a double-cyiid,.
bean and pea thrasher has been used with much success at Ha i I
This thrasher has a capacity of j to 1 ton of seed per day when -a
conditions are favorable. It is important that the stems and .pods.
be well cured and that sufficient power be available before attempting .
to thrash. An even smaller and simpler pea huller is used for thrash- .
ing simply the pods, and the strain on all working parts is very much.:
lighter than when the seed is thrashed directly from the stems. The
pods alone thrash very readily when they are thoroughly dry, ani id
about 1,000 pounds can be thrashed within nine hours by a two'.
horsepower engine. Two men, or a man and a boy, are required to
do the work most efficiently.
Whether thrashed from the vine or the pod, the seeds should bi
recleaned and graded. This is best accomplished by the use of a good:'i::l:
fanning mill equipped with suitable sieves and riddles. Unless th4e .
seed has become discolored or moldy through improper handling,
no further manipulation will be necessary. However, it may some-
times be desirable to hand-pick the seed to make it a merchantable
product. This is an expensive process and adds considerably to
the cost of the seed. As high as $2 per 100 pounds has been paid
to have the work done properly. There are on the market foot
treads and power types of bean picking and sorting tables which-
would greatly facilitate this work.
Most leguminous seeds, such as cowpeas, soy' beans, and the culi-
nary beans, are subject to weevil infestation to some extent, and th6
pigeon pea is possibly as susceptible as any to these ravages. The
grower of this crop should provide for it an air-tight storage chainm: ;
ber which can be periodically fumigated. At the Haiku substation"' .
a suitable compartment has been built by constructing double wa
floor, and roof of tongue-and-groove lumber laid crosswise with a
layer of tarred felt between. The door is beveled and made to fit
snugly against a felt face and is fastened with a strong refrigerator
door clasp. A compartment 6 by 6 by 6 feet is a convenient size
for ordinary requirements, as it holds about 2 tons of bagged seed.
The best fumigant to use is carbon bisulphid, the usual dose being 3
1 to 2 pounds of carbon bisulphid to every 1,000 cubic feet of spani j



to be fumigated. The compartment described above would there-
fore require about one-fourth to one-half pound of carbon bisulphid
per fumigation. The chemical should be placed in a shallow dish
and set on top of the pile of seed to be fumigated. As the liquid
volatilizes, the vapor flows over the sides of the container, and being
heavier than air seeks the lower levels. Fumigation should be con-
tinued from 24 to 36 hours. Those doing the fumigating should use
every precaution not to inhale the gas or to bring a light near the
vapor, which is very inflammable.
In another publication 4 mention has been made of the opportunity
for enterprising and suitably equipped farmers to grow standard
varieties of seed, especially the seed of the pigeon pea, the demand
for which now greatly exceeds the supply. It is desired to again
emphasize this fact. The very best seed strains may deteriorate rap-
idly in careless or inexperienced hands, but the seed business is, or
should be, a highly specialized undertaking. It is likely that there
will be an increasing demand for the pigeon pea once its exceptional
merits become well known.
The feeding value of a product depends not alone upon its com-
position and digestibility, but to a very large extent upon its pala-
tability to the animals fed. While there have been received some
reports indicating reluctance on the part of certain animals to con-
sume pigeon-pea feed, the majority of feeders have found that all
classes of live stock readily learn to eat it without the admixture of
other feeds. This seems to be the case especially when live stock
has access to the growing crop as pasturage. At the Haiku substa-
tion no animal has yet been found which does not browse freely upon
the growing plant. At the Haiku ranch, on the island of Maui, the
dairy herd of 50 cows has been maintained in excellent condition on
pigeon-pea "tops constituting the upper third of the plant, which
is the heavily podded portion. The tips and pods are usually eaten
first and then the more woody parts, only the thick stems remaining
uneaten. Work mules will chew up even a large part of the woody
stem. Poultry will jump as high as 3 feet to get at the pods, and
they are very fond of the blossoms. Bees apparently gather nectar
freely from the flowers. It has already been remarked that the
Molokai ranch has marketed some of its best carcasses of beef direct
from pigeon-pea pasture. The Haleakalea ranch, on the island of
Maui, has likewise pastured a 100-acre field of growing pigeon pea,
4 Hawaii Sta. Bul. 23 (1911), p. 5.



maintaining, with very satisfactory results, 250 head for a p
100 days, the plants being stripped to mere stiff basal stems.
The greatest value of the pigeon pea as a feed seemingly *lies'i:l
its possibilities for replacing a large portion of the imported 'gi
millstuffs, and hay. These are still brought into Hawaii fnopt&Ib
mainland at great expense and heavy consumption of carirng' ~::i
on the already congested steamship lines.
The accompanying table shows the average percentage eo
tion of pigeon-pea products. il

Average composition of the pigeon-pea products.

[Based on all available analyses made in Hawaii to Feb. 15, 1920.]

Character of material analyzed.

Fresh green forage .............
Whole plant cured as hay and
ground into meal..............
Seed and pod meal..............
Seed meal.....................
Thrashed pod meal ............





Crude Nitro-
fiber. gen-free
I extract.


I'- ~ I-- I ------ i I. I

Per cent.
11. 19

Per cent.

Per cent.

1 Upper third of plant with seed in pod.

Per cent.
28. 87

Per cent.

Per cent.

2 By-product in seed production.


L B. iiii

-: ,I

It is believed that the milling of pigeon peas bids fair to do away
entirely with imported feeds in the not distant future. The combined
stems, pods, and seeds cured as hay can be milled into a meal similar
to the extensively used alfalfa meal; the ground pods and seeds can be
used in the same way as corn-and-cob meal; or the grain alone, either
whole, cracked, or finely ground, can be mixed with other Hawaiian-
grown feeds and supplemented with refuse molasses. As a matter
of fact, the Haiku substation has, during the past four years, grown,
milled, and fed to half a dozen head of live stock the entire amount
of feed consumed, fully 25 per cent of which was pigeon-pea product,
This feed has been fed in comparison with the best imported feeds
with a distinct advantage, both in cost and general well being of the
animals, in favor of the home-grown feeds. A mill has been estab-
lished at Haiku which grinds and mixes 10 to 25 tons of feed each
working day of the year. From 10 to 20 per cent of this feed is made
up of milled products of the pigeon pea.
In many instances the grinding of feeds has been found unprofit-
able, but this is not always the case. After careful observations it
would seem that the extra cost of milling the pigeon-pea plant should,
in the majority of cases, more than pay for itself in view of the in-




. :



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creasing cost of feeds and the consequent advisability of utilizing
many of the coarser stuffs that were once wasted; and also because
the most rapid and efficient gains are frequently made by bringing
feeds to a uniform degree of fineness, particularly where several
kinds are to be mixed to balance the ration and to give variety.
Handling the feeds at feeding time as well as in storage is likewise
greatly facilitated either by shredding or chaffing the roughage or
converting the more concentrated portions to a coarse or fine meal.
Now that refuse molasses is being used so commonly, it becomes prac-
tically imperative that those feeds with which the molasses is to be
mixed be reduced to as uniform-sized particles as possible. The
above applies especially to the pigeon pea when the stems and pods
are to be utilized. Unground peas are likely to pass undigested
through the animals.
The grinding of pigeon-pea hay does not differ materially from
the process used in milling alfalfa hay and other cured fodders.
However, it is desirable to cut the material into short lengths before
it is placed in the hammer-throw mills for the final reduction to
meal. If the recutting type of comminutor is used with a small
screen, no preliminary cutting and no regrinding will be necessary.
Grinding in a burr mill does not seem practical, and the use of the
hammer-throw mill after a preliminary cutting apparently is the
most efficient method. The cost of milling by this process is esti-
mated at between $3 and $5 per ton.
A word of caution is in order concerning the woody and fibrous
nature of the basal portions of the stalks of the mature pigeon pea.
Rough or careless grinding leaves small, jagged splinters in the feed,
and unless these are guarded against, the coarse, sharp-pointed ma-
terial may cause irritation in the digestive tract of the animals. It
would be a comparatively simple matter to sift all feed through a
one-eighth inch mesh sieve to remove this objectionable material be-
fore the feeds are used, either mixed or when fed alone, although the
station has not heretofore resorted to such practice.
Once the feeds are ground to a uniform fineness, it is an easy mat-
ter to mix thoroughly the several ingredients. In the earlier experi-
mental work at Haiku, mixing was done by hand. A tight, smooth
floor 12 feet square is convenient for mixing 2 or 3 tons of ordinary
feed. The finer and dustier meals, such as pigeon pea, are first
spread out in a thin layer. The less dusty meals or "chops" are then
spread in subsequent layers. The molasses is added last. This
should not be diluted with water, as fermentation and excessive
heating with consequent spoilage will result. However, the molasses,
if especially thick, may be heated to the boiling point to advantage
and then spread over the surface layer of feed by the aid of a


sprinkling can. The mass may be thoroughly worked ovet :
with a rake and next with a scoop shovel. By following this md~t ni
a man can mix 2 or 3 tons of feed per day. During the past yeg&1
the Haiku substation installed a mixing machine that had been, i W'
promised from a continuous cement mixer. It is furnished i :
measuring device so arranged that the concentrated grain f:'lii
be definitely proportioned to the less concentrated and .....
pigeon-pea hay meal. This machine mixes 4 or 5 tons of fee II
day and seems to work very satisfactorily. :-
Two milling plants have installed large, powerful mixers sinilAW Ye
to the type used for mixing fertilizers. These mixers have a capacity -
of 20 to 25 tons per day and very thoroughly mix the molasses with
the grain feeds. The entire cost of the milling and mixing machine
installed at the Haiku substation, not including engine and building ~
was about $500; the recutting and grinding mill and repaired parts M,:
costing $150; the wagon elevator or bagging attachment for the mill:
$50; the feed mixer, about $100; the tank, which was connected with
the steam boiler for heating molasses, $100; and incidentals, $100.
A series of Hawiian-grown and mixed feeding rations, having as
a base pigeon-pea forage in some of its various forms, is given below.
The simplest possible ration is given first. This is followed by the
more complex and specifically balanced rations for some definite
purpose and by explanatory notes.
Ration No. 1.-This simple ration consists of pigeon-pea tops cured
as hay or fresh forage in full seed used as a soiling crop. It would be
suitable for mules, horses, dairy cows, cattle, and sheep having a run
of good pasture while on light work, or for dairy cows that are dry.'
However, in a recent feeding experiment with cows in full milk, the'
straight pigeon-pea hay ration produced a better flow of milk than
fresh cane tops ard sorghums supplemented with a standard grain
ration. This might properly be termed a maintenance" ration.
It would be classed as a narrow ration because the proportion of
crude protein is large in comparison with that of the carbohydrate :
and fat. When the reverse is true, as in ration No. 2, it is termed a
"wide ration. Convenient designations for narrow and wide "
rations would be the terms nitrogenous" feed and carbonaceous"
feed, respectively. The feeding would best be done from slatt
overhead racks, each of which is provided with a tight, shalfL
trough at the base to collect falling seeds and leaves. In this way
loss of this valuable portion of the feed would be prevented.
Ration No. 2.-This ration consists of two-thirds pigeon-pea hay
meal and one-third cane molasses. It is a very cheap feed, and costs:


not more than $20 or $25 per ton. This ration would be classed as
a. "medium narrow ".one for the reasons outlined above. It would
be especially suitable for maintaining cattle in the dry lot, or pref-
erably on good grass pasture, but it would be better still if fed in
conjunction with fresh green alfalfa. Should the ration be found
too laxative when fed with alfalfa, the alfalfa should be allowed to
wilt for several hours before it is fed.
Ration No. 2 and those given below should be fed for best results
from wide shallow troughs set about 24 inches from the ground.
Ration No. 3.-This ration consists of equal parts of pigeon-pea
hay meal, corn-and-cob meal, and cane molasses. It contains the
uppermost limit that could be recommended of both pigeon peas and
molasses, except under special conditions. It is a wider one than
No. 2, and should be fed in conjunction with fresh green alfalfa. It
would then make a first-rate growing and fattening ration for cattle
at a cost not exceeding $30 per ton.
Ration No. 4.-This ration consists of equal parts of pigeon-pea
hay meal, corn-and-cob meal, algaroba meal, and cane molasses. In
the kind and variety of its constituents, ration No. 4 would be con-
sidered an improvement on the former rations. It would make an
excellent concentrated ration for work mules, horses, dairy cows, and
growing cattle, especially if leguminous roughage, for example,
alfalfa, cowpeas, and velvet-bean hay or green forage, were fed in
conjunction With it. Its feeding value about equals that of imported
barley. Its cost should not exceed $40 per ton, which would mean
a saving in the cost of feed of at least $20 per ton.
Ration No. 5.-This ration consists of equal parts of pigeon-pea
hay meal, corn-and-cob meal, algaroba meal, peanut-hay meal (that
is, the entire plant, with all seeds and pods retained), and cane
molasses. While somewhat "wide," it is especially rich in fat on
account of its peanut-meal constituent. As it stands it would make
an excellent feed for fattening swine and cattle. To make it suitable
for growing swine and for cows in full milk, 5 per cent of the mo-
lasses could be substituted with corn-and-cob meal and 5 per cent
additional of the molasses with an equal amount of peanut-hay meal.
This would considerably narrow the ration and consequently enhance
its value for milk production or for growing animals. For either
purpose and for either class of live stock it would be advisable to sup-
plement this concentrated feed with fresh green alfalfa as roughage.
Furthermore, in the absence of animal protein such as dried blood or
tankage, it is strongly urged that, when fed to pigs, this ration be
mixed into a slop with skim milk. This would make a medium-priced
feed of excellent quality. For both swine and dairy cows, but espe-
cially for the former, sweet potatoes and their tops, and cassava roots


2v flullU J.Lf rut n .aW 4jj..fL JilAr...t.A..U ........I.:fl*A,.J.
either raw or cooked, would aid still further in reducing the mdst
making the ration more efficient. In feeding ration No. 5 to swin dr4O
milk cows, it is advised that the mixture be passed through an eigth.
inch mesh sieve to remove inert pieces of corncob and .pigmeopi -
stems; these add nothing to the feeding value and merely i .ta"K. iy
the digestive organs of the animals. While work mules a'
can better utilize this coarse material, it would be better
it from the ration for reasons previously stated.
For feeding poultry, no more effective Hawaiian-grown pot*~I
grain ration is known than cracked pigeon peas and cracked c 4M
about equal proportions, supplemented occasionally with a little~SUr
flower, peanut, or soy-bean seed to supply the necessary fat..: & Fl !
either a dry or wet mash, ration No. 5 may be slightly modified l .b
the addition of rice polish, cassava flour, more corn meal withoutt
cob), or other products that suggest themselves. These will nmake :
good growing and laying rations. The only element lacking in these w
feeds is animal protein, and therefore, as recommended for swinesa e hie
free use of skim milk is strongly urged, this preferably to be clab
bered. In a feeding experiment covering the past two years with
Hawaiian-grown feeds for poultry, the use of skim milk proved to
be the greatest single factor in egg production.
The quantity of pigeon pea to feed the various classes of live stock
should be left to the observation and judgment of the feeder rather
than to any set of rules. The best rule known is to feed the animals
as much as they will eat in a reasonable time.

On account of the rather large growth it makes, the pigeon-pea
plant may be difficult to plow under, and all plows will not do the
work satisfactorily. A large single-disked plow having a subsoiler
attachment will do good work either for pigeon-pea stubble or where
most of the crop has been pastured down. (P1. V, fig. 1.) Deep-
tilling machines can also be used or the work can be done with any-
of the several kinds of disk gang plows having wide clearance...
Where the plant has made good growth it is essential that it be left
standing during the time of plowing rather than be broken down be .
fore plowing, as some have suggested. '
Good farming means, or should mean, both permanent and profit-
able agriculture. No agriculture can be either permanent or profit,:i!
able where the outgo of fertility from the land is greater than thd-:
return. For the maintenance of soil fertility, no agricultural pran *%

Bul. 46, Hawaii Agr. Expt. Station.









ties have longer or better stood the test of time than green manuring
and the systematic rotation of crops. In Hawaii no other crop is
known that will lend itself more readily to a large variety of condi-
iiMs than the pigeon pea. On account of its ready adaptability to
iiiil and climate, its drought-resistant properties, deep-rooting habit,
ivy production of rich nitrogenous vegetation, perennial nature,
an: d thrift under neglect, the pigeon pea is peculiarly well suited to
follow the pineapple and sugar-cane crops after these have spent
themselves. Resting the land is said to restore fertility, but a more
effective means of restoring fertility is to change the use of the land
by practice of rotation of crops. The cropping cycle of sugar cane,
pineapples, and pigeon peas in terms of time is quite similar. On
an average, the two great staple crops of Hawaii have a cropping
cycle consisting of a plant crop and two ratoon crops, covering
approximately five years. This is likewise true of pigeon peas.
Not only is it good theory but actual experimental practice has
r demonstrated that worn-out pineapple lands may be restored to
their original, or to improved, fertility by allowing a crop of
pigeon peas to occupy the land for a period equal to the time such
lands were cropped to pineapples, the pigeon peas then being turned
-.under as green manure. This was demonstrated in a pineapple field
two years old which yielded 20 tons of A No. 1 fruit during the
1919 season. (Pl. V, fig. 2.) Pigeon peas were grown on this field
for three years and the entire crop was then turned under. The
tonnage of vegetable matter, including the roots, woody trunks, and
foliage, was approximately 50 tons per acre. In addition to this
final green-manuring crop, much leafy matter was shed on the
ground beneath the plants, so that in places a leaf mold an inch or
two thick had accumulated. This leaf mold was difficult to estimate,
but in three years it must have yielded fully 5 tons per acre of the
richest kind of organic matter. Just before the pigeon peas were
planted, the pineapple crop on the same land collapsed at the end
of the first harvest. While the present crop (second, or first ratoon,
crop) of pineapples succeeding the pigeon peas is only just now
maturing, there is every indication that the crop will carry safely
into the second ratoon crop. If this proves to be the case, then there
has been evolved an extremely simple cropping system, the rotation
of pineapples with pigeon peas, an 8 to 10-year rotation, allowing
4 or 5 years to each crop. In this rotation each of the "crops"
is a dominating factor for a permanent and profitable agriculture
Sand therefore good farming. It is believed that what is apparently
pioving so beneficial to the pineapple crop will prove equally bene-
ficial to the sugar-cane crop. Sugar planters will doubtless welcome
a dependable cover crop that is not only suitable for green manur-


ing, but one that also requires no irrigation and very little ti
Such a crop would mean only little extra time and expense oveb tN!?
time-honored custom of leaving the fields fallow. .
No doubt it would be practicable for many of the sugar and pine-
apple plantation owners to seed their otherwise fallow lands to
pigeon peas. This practice would not only result in preparing the
soil for the subsequent crop of sugar cane or pineapples, but ;it:l Ad
enable the plantation owners to maintain considerable herds of 43alp
cows and other live stock; these in time would do much to increse
the local food products and the importance of this can not be ov i
estimated in a scheme of permanent and economical agriculture.
Thus far the pigeon pea has been comparatively free from pests,
with the exception that, as already noted, the seeds in storage are
subject to weevil attack, as are the cowpea and a number of other
leguminous seeds. : *
In common with all young seedlings, the pigeon-pea crop-may be
considerably injured during the first few weeks of its development,
especially in certain seasons, by the attacks of cutworms and army
worms. However, seasonable planting has made it possible to escape
these pests in extensive plantings at the station. Again, as it develops
from spring plantings, the young terminal growth may, when condi-
tions are favorable, be attacked by plant lice or aphids. However,
like the cowpea, the pigeon pea does not seem to suffer any perma-
nent injury from such attacks. Occasionally the Japanese beetle
and other leaf-eating pests attack the foliage, but such injury, par-
ticularly in extensive plantings, is negligible.
As the plants make dense, mature growth, especially in sheltered
areas, they may be infested with both the cottony cushion scale
and the mealy bug. These pests, however, are kept fairly well in con-
trol by parasites and the common ladybirds. There is some evidence
that the myna bird also feeds upon clusters of the cottony cushion
During the past year harvesters experienced some annoyance
from the common wasp. This insect builds its comb in densely
growing shrubs, and when disturbed by harvesters in cutting the
upper branches of the infested pigeon pea for forage, it retaliates
with a more or less formidable sting.
In addition to the Coccidae already mentioned, several other scale
insects have been found to infest the pigeon pea. The most serious
of these (Coccus elongatus) has been under observation during the
past year as it has been the cause of much concern. In at least two
extensive plantings on the island of Maui, large areas have become


infested with the pest. As the scale matures it gives to the sur-
rounding surface of the stem the striking appearance of a fungus
affection. In a. very dry season, for example, such as that experi-
Senced in Hawaii during the summer of 1920, the plants, which were
Severely infested, succumb. However, when the first rains came,
most of the infested plants revived and again produced a normal
amount of foliage and pods. During the dry season it is recom-
S mended that the infested plant areas be grubbed up and the brush
burned. It is possible, however, that, by cutting the plants, burning
the cut portions, and spraying the stubble with a scale oil, beneficial
results can be secured and the stand can be saved.
One pest of the pigeon pea, well known because of its prevalence
wherever the plant grows, is the bean-pod borer, the larvae of the
common blue butterfly (Lyccena boetica). This pest lays its eggs
S on the outer parts of the flower or leaves, and the emerging larvae
S.attack the growing seed within the pods. Only when a few plants
are grown in a place has this pest been found troublesome. In none
S of the extensive plantings have any depredations by this pest been
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