Cowpeas are fast growing, annual, summer forage legumes. They are excellent quality crops for fattening both sheep and cattle, and are also regarded as good feed for milking cows. In a crop rotation program, they can significantly improve soil nitrogen levels by nitrogen fixation or by incorporation in soil as a green manure crop. Cowpeas also offer the alternative of grain production.
Both cowpeas and lablab are tolerant of drought and heat. Soybeans (Glycine max) are also very useful forage and hay crops in some situations.