Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata L., is an old World pulses crop with a long history of production in the USA. This crop has many common names including: southern pea, crowder pea, blackeyed pea, pinkeye purple hull pea, field pea, and blackeye bea, to name a few. Vigna unguiculata is humankind's oldest grain legume crop and is still grown on more than 28 million acres worldwide. It is one of the most drought tolerant, highly nutritious, and least fertilizer requiring legume crops available for commercial production. With changing weather patterns due to global warming, V. unguiculata production, which thrives in high heat and drought condition, could have many environmental benefits. In addition to its many uses as a high quality grain legume, southern peas are a delicious ethnic food with a broad range in colors, tastes and sizes.
This website was initiated in 2016 in conjunction with the 2016 FAO International Year of the Pulses. Specific objectives are to increase awareness of this crop in the USA, to address critical issues in cowpea pest management and to foster research, education and industry teams to promote better production practices.