Harun Odhiambo, Lusike Wasilwa, Job Maangi3
Cowpea is an economically and nutritionally important vegetable crop widely cultivated by smallholder farmers both for subsistence and income generation. Uprooting the entire plant as a form of harvest is common in on-field subsistence farming systems. However, little is known about the effect of harvesting regimes on total productivity of cowpea under greenhouse conditions. This study was conducted with an objective of evaluating growth and yield of cowpea in response to different harvest regimes under controlled conditions. Plots of cowpea stands/clusters each with four plants were subjected to three different treatments, i.e., harvest 1 (H1), harvest 2 (H2), and harvest 3 (H3) in a randomized complete block design. Overall crop yield was measured by the number of leaves and Plant Height (PH) at 7-day intervals. Data collection was initiated at week 1 and week 2 after emergence. The results revealed significant differences in both PH and NTL between H0 and H1, H2, or H3 (p≤0.05), implying that cowpea yields can be significantly improved by applying harvesting regimes to vegetable-only production systems. For PH, maximum values were obtained for H1 and H3. Thus, farmers can obtain higher vegetable productivity by harvesting cowpea for consumption or sale at intervals, as opposed to a one-time mass harvesting.
Published Date: 2021-05-17; Received Date: 2021-04-26