It is a grazing and pioneer legume and one of the best cover crops. It is a twiner and creeper with tolerance for poor soils. The legume cuts off during dry months. It is a prolific seeder; seed rate is 3-4.5 kg per ha.
Calopogonium is a vigorous, hairy annual or short–lived perennial trailing legume. It can reach several meters in length and form a dense, tangled mass of foliage, 30-50 cm deep. The stems are succulent, covered with long, brown hairs. They are creeping in the lower parts, sometimes rooting at the nodes that come in contact with the soil. The root system is dense and shallow, at most 50 cm deep.
Calopogonium is an N-fixing legume that has no specific requirement for rhizobium and nodulates readily. It provides soil Nitrogen to neighbouring grasses when it is sown in mixed stands, and to the following crop when intercropped (with maize for instance). Their effect can last 14-16 years and is a valuable green manure in rice fields where it is tolerant of stagnant water conditions.
- It is used as cover crop in plantations (Banana, Coffee, Rubber, Palms, and Black Pepper) but should be prevented from overgrowing the trees by regular cutting.
- Provides large amounts of leaf litter onto soil, smothering most weeds
- Have allopathic effect on seeds and prevent weed development
It is mainly used as cover crop in tropical tree plantations over the past 100 years. This crop is recognized as a valuable pioneer species, reducing erosion and improving soil fertility. Nadampadom Rubber Estate offers quality Calopogonium Mucunoides seeds with finest germination rates.