Chemically fixed nitrogen is a costly import for Caribbean Basin Countries. Increased cost of fertilizer only serves to reduce crop yields in these areas. This greenhouse research was undertaken to evaluate the N2 fixing capabilities and yield potential of several Phaseolus vulgaris lines developed for use in Caribbean Basin countries. Ten common bean lines from breeding programs at the Universities of Puerto Rico and Wisconsin and two efficient Rhizobium phaseoli strains were used for the study. Plants treated with Rhizobium UMR 1899 and UMR 1632 had significantly higher stem and leaf dry weight than the control plants. Bean lines WBR 22-34, WBR 22-50, WBR 22-55, PR9056-98B and the cultivar Coxstone showed increased dry matter accumulation over that of the control plants. Plants treated with the Rhizobium strain UMR 1899 had the highest stem and leaf dry matter accumulation. Nodulation was significantly higher when plants were treated with UMR 1632. The lines WBR 22-34 and PR 9056-98B produced more nodules than the other lines used. Pod yield as measured by number of immature pods was highest for PR 9056-98B when inoculated with Rhizobium UMR 1899.
The use of cowpea as a forage for Central Missouri has been limited. High mid summer temperatures and frequent drought suggest that an alternative forage for livestock may be advantageous during the hot summer months. The ability of cowpea to withstand drought, high temperature and maintain high foliage protein, justifies research of the forage potential of this crop. Forage yield potential of two cowpea cultivars was evaluated in field experiments in 1968 and 1989, For both years a split plot experimental design was utilized with cowpea cultivar the main plot and harvest date the subplot Dry matter yields for both cultivars were similar at the early harvest dates. However, both fresh and dry shoot yields of Vita 3 (V3) were significantly higher than that of California Blackeye #5 (CB #5) at the later harvest stages. CB #5 plants produced a significantly higher stem dry weight while V3 produced higher leaf dry matter. Foliage regrowth after clipping was substantial for both cowpea cultivars. However, V3 produced 30% higher growth than CB #5. In vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDDM) varied with sample date (plant age) and plant parts sampled. IVDDM was 77% for leaves and 60% for stems of CB#5, and 80% for leaves and 65% for stems of V3.