This cultivation is particularly important in peanut, as early growth of the crop is slow. Selective herbicides are available for weed control in some locations.It should be noted that legume seeds are very prone to mechanical damage when they are dry. Thus seed to be used for sowing should be threshed carefully. For peanut, it appears that the seed is best kept in the shell to retain viability. When required for sowing, it is best hand shelled.The response to fertiliser has been slight in peanut. There is a marked response to P and K fertiliser in cowpea.
Unit 5: Legumes 5.151.What is the main benefit of intercropping legumes with other non-legume crops?2.What soil nutrients appear to be more important for legume crops like peanut and cowpea?3.What soil nutrients appear to be more important for legume crops like peanut and cowpea?Activity 5.4
Unit 5: Legumes 5.165.8 Harvesting The time to maturity for peanut and cowpea crops varies as follows:Time to maturityPeanut:Spanish-Valencia type31/2 monthsPeanut:Virginia type5 months or longerCowpea: Early cultivars, green pod50 daysCowpea: Early cultivars, seed3 monthsCowpea: Late cultivars, seed5 monthsThese legume crops are generally harvested by hand. However, mechanical harvesting of peanuts is sometimes practised in the USA.Peanut plants are pulled up and turned over in the sun before the nuts are stripped.5.9 Storage Seeds of both peanut and cowpea are stored in a dry place after drying.5.10 Processing Cowpea is much less widely processed than peanut. However, seeds of cowpea are sometimes processed as a coffee substitute.Peanut is processed into vegetable oil, and is the second largest source of vegetable oil after soybeans. Virginia cultivars contain much more oil than Spanish-Valencia types. The oil is used:as a substitute for olive oil in salad dressings and for cooking;in the manufacture of margarine;
Unit 5: Legumes 5.17in soap manufacture; and as a lubricant (inferior oil).Peanut butter is made by grinding roasted blanched seeds. When ground after removal of the testa and germ, this produces smooth peanut butter and if ground before removal of the testa and germ, crunchy peanut butter results.5.11 Significance in South Pacific Countries The table below summarises a few aspects of the significance of legume crops in the South Pacific.PeanutCowpeaProductionMedium butSmall,in Pacificincreasing.in Fiji onlyProcessing inFiji, Solomons.ImportedProcessedVery littlefromproductselsewhereonlyFutureWill depend on global climate trends, e.g. global importancewarming (see note below).Note: Peanut seeds are sometimes in short supply because of the popularity of the crop for human food. There can be many leaf diseases in peanut in wet conditions, making the crop difficult to grow during certain times of the year.