April 2, 2013
Pulse Australia is predicting another big year of winter chickpea production in its northern zone, centred on Queensland and northern NSW. A combination of better prices and better varieties have seen chickpea production in Queensland more than double in the past five years. With prices holding up well and Pulse Australia reporting continued demand for the Desi chickpeas grown mainly in northern areas, Pulse Australia believes farmers will again make big plantings this year. ”Interestingly, Australia’s production has grown significantly over several years yet the demand from the Indian sub-continent has not diminished,” said Pulse Australia senior development manager Gordon Cumming, who is based in Toowoomba in the heart of one of Queensland’s bigger chickpea production zones. He said the price and production risks that once dogged the crop are now more manageable and said farmers also enjoyed the agronomic and nitrogen fixing benefits of a pulse phase. Mr Cumming is expecting new producers to grow chickpeas for the first time this year, saying they would have observed the good prices on offer over the last two to three years, along with respectable yields. “There is heightened interest in sowing chickpeas in 2013,” he said. “Chickpeas are not without their specific quirks and local issues from a production and market perspective so we are running training workshops to cover all aspects of the industry and give growers and agronomists the opportunity to discuss relevant local issues.” The science and reasoning behind current best management practice and an update on the latest research and advancements in the chickpea industry is provided at the programs. Two-day chickpea best management production courses for northern region farmers, agronomists and advisors will be held this month in Dalby on April 16-17; Narrabri on April 23–24; and Emerald on April 30 to May 1.