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Chickpea forecast drops to 229,000t: Pulse Australia

by Grain Central, 22 November 2018

AUSTRALIA is forecast to produce 229,000 tonnes of chickpeas from the crop now being harvested, according to the latest crop report released by industry body, Pulse Australia.

Harvesting chickpeas at Condamine on the western Darling Downs, where some of 2018’s highest-yielding chickpea crops have grown.

The chickpea number is back 24 per cent from Pulse Australia’s previous forecast released in early August, and puts South Australian chickpea production at 17,000t at slightly ahead of the expected New South Wales tonnage.

Central Queensland has this year produced the vast majority of Australia’s chickpeas, and its harvest is almost over.

Some crops have been harvested with respectable yields on the Darling Downs and adjacent regions, and in northern New South Wales, and despite being sown into subsoil moisture, have suffered due to a lack of in-crop rain.

This latest figure chickpea figure shows continues the sharp downtrend in Australia production, with a crop of around 2 million tonnes (Mt) harvested in 2016, a 2017 crop of 1Mt, and a new low of recent years for 2018.

The drops have been tied to seasonal conditions, including some frost damage, which has wiped yields from frosted crops this and last year, and compares with an ideal growing season in 2016.

According to Australia’s commodity forecaster, ABARES, NSW in 2016 harvested 792,000t of chickpeas from 480,000 hectares, compared with 360,000t from 450,000ha in 2017.

In Queensland, its 2016 area of 550,000ha yielded 1.15Mt, compared with 565,000t from 575,00ha in 2017.

Production for this season has been extremely hard to forecast, with growers leaving to the last minute their decisions whether to graze, cut for hay or bring through to grain.

Chickpeas Field peas Faba beans Lentils Lupins
NSW 16,000 35,000 13,000 5,000 45,000
Qld 156,000 0 0 0 0
Vic 32,000 51,000 70,000 127,000 31,000
SA 17,000 107,000 107,000 231,000 48,000
WA 8,000 39,000 6,000 34,000 595,000
National 229,000 232,000 196,000 397,000 719,000

Table 1: Pulse Australia production calculated in late October, with figures in thousands of tonnes.

Source: Pulse Australia

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