The chickpea is also called the Southern pea or the garbanzo bean. is considered the third most important pulse in the world, being widely grown in many subtropical and warm-temperate regions. Chickpea is the common name for an annual plant, Cicer arietinum, of the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) family that is widely cultivated for its typically yellow-brown, pea like seeds.
.kabuli black garbanzo gram are its varities.
Receival standards for chickpeas have recently been revised, with the maximum moisture now increased to 14% for grower receivals. Harvesting grain at 13-15% moisture content will help minimise cracking. Above 14% moisture, the crop should either be aerated or dried. Aeration is usually very effective in pulling chickpea moisture content down several percentage points.
Chickpeas are poor competitors with weeds during their slow early growth stage, therefore it is highly recommended to implement good broad leaf weed control in the previous year’s crop. Once established they are an excellent break crop from diseases, weeds and pests.
Chickpea crops are best suited to well-drained loam and clay loam soils that are neutral to alkaline (pH 6.0 to 9.0) and have good water holding capacity. For sowing ideally 40 – 50 plants per square meter is desirable for the Desi varieties, and for Kabuli varieties 25 – 35 plants per square meter should be the target.
Seeding rate (kg/ha) = Plant density (plants/m2) x 100 seed weight (g) x 10 ÷ Germination percentage
Chickpea varieties vary with their rainfall requirements, plants will tolerate frosts during the vegetative stage, but once flowering, frosts, if severe enough can cause flower drop. Chickpeas prefer warmer growing conditions; average temperatures below 15º C will reduce pollen viability and can cause flower drop, and average temperatures over 35º C will lower the potential yield and cause possible flower abortion. Therefore timing of sowing is very important for high yield harvests.
Chickpeas require phosphorous, sulphur, nitrogen and zinc for successful production. When planning applications it is best to know the paddocks soil pH & fertilizer history. Consult with your agronomist and/or have a soil test undertaken for these nutrients.
Timing is critical when harvesting chickpeas, moisture content should be around 13 per cent, any lower will risk seed cracking/shattering. Closed or open front headers can be used to harvest the seed but attention to the correct settings is vital
Plant chickpeas in full sun. Chickpeas will grow in partial shade but the yield will be reduced. Grow chickpeas in loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of planting. Avoid planting chickpeas where green manures have just grown or in soil high in nitrogen; this will result in green leafy growth, not seed production. Add potassium and phosphorus to the soil.
Planting and spacing.
Sow chickpeas 1½ to 2 inches deep, spaced 3 to 6 inches apart. Thin successful plants to 6 inches apart; cut away thinned plants at soil level with scissors so as not to disturb roots. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Do not soak seed before sowing and avoid heavy watering after sowing to keep seeds from cracking. Chickpeas allowed to grow a bit crowded will offer each other support.
Potatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries, celery, summer savory. Do not plant chickpeas with garlic.
Avoid handling chickpeas when they are wet or covered with heavy dew; this may spread fungus spores. Keep planting beds weed free but cultivate around chickpeas carefully so as not to disturb the plant’s shallow root system. Rotate chickpeas and other legumes to add nitrogen to the soil.
Chickpea harvest can often clash with wheat harvest and traditionally wheat has been given priority due to potential quality premiums. However, this needs to be balanced with the relatively higher value of chickpea and potential losses that can result from a late chickpea harvest. Chickpea yields average approximately 70% of wheat yields when sown in an identical situation.The use of specialised headers and separate storage facilities for chickpeas may alleviate the competition with wheat for time, labour and equipment usage. Harvest timing will depend on the moisture content that is acceptable for delivery or storage. This will depend on who is buying the grain, or whether aeration is available in the storage. A general rule is that harvest should be under way when upper pods are 15% moisture, if aiming to deliver at 13-14%.