Chickpea Yields Down but Quality is Up
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
When the state's chickpea harvest wrapped up last month Spokane area producer Chad Denny, who has been growing chickpeas for three years now, found that he fared a bit better than other chickpea producers, both in the state and around the country.
DENNY: I think across the region the yields were down but for me I had two fields - one was 1500 pounds (per acre) and the other was just over a ton, so they averaged right at 1750, and I can't really complain. The first year they were incredible - 2500 pounds, and then last year they were half that; so this year they were kind of in the middle of those two. I really don't have enough time in it to really know what is average. If I would guess I'd say that I was able to hit average. And I think that on the whole most people were not able to hit their average.
Having his chickpea crop on a good piece of ground and crop rotation factored in on yield amounts.
DENNY: The difference between my fields is rotation in front of those. The field that didn't produce as well was following winter wheat, and the field that did produce well was following barley; so there's a factor there as well.
Denny says market prices for chickpeas were down slightly.
DENNY: They dropped the contract from the previous year a couple of cents and so that is decent. In hindsight I would have been better off to have put in lentils probably, but that's why I do some of each - a little more diversity I guess.
Lentil prices have gone up due to short supply around the globe. While overall chickpea yields may have came in below expectations in the Palouse, the nation's major chickpea growing area, the crop quality has been reported as exceptional.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.