Chickpea yields in Australia’s key producing areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales are likely to have taken a hit from successive frosts in recent days, with crops on the Darling Downs of southern Queensland looking to be most affected.
Chickpea growers and consultants are being advised to ‘monitor closely and act promptly’ to reduce the disease risk in this year’s crops and land the 2017 harvest safely.
Record shipments out of Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay have helped Australia to shift a record export surplus of chickpeas, and with new-crop in Central Queensland only weeks away from harvest, the pattern is likely to be repeated in 2017.
Growth in Australian pulse and grain exports to India is likely to continue in line with the country’s growing population and the percentage of protein in the average diet.
Old-crop chickpeas were reported this week at A$900-$905 per tonne delivered container terminal (DCT), A$80/t above the best bid for new-crop, which at A$820/t DCT had no offer against it.
Chickpea plantings are set to top the 1.1-million-hectare mark this season as the final crops go in, with yield expectations tempered by high disease pressure and low rainfall in some areas.
Scientists from the United Kingdom and Africa are seeking to develop chickpeas that can flourish in dry climates, to help some of the world’s poorest farmers reliably grow the staple crop.
Chickpea growers and agronomists are being advised to `watch and act accordingly’ when it comes to managing the fungal disease Ascochyta blight this season.
Grower pulse prices are stuck in a holding pattern, looking to the skies in Australia and in South Asia where pulse crops are now being planted.
The total planted area for Australia’s 2017/18 winter crop is expected to remain on par with last year at just over 22 million hectares, according to Rabobank’s just-released Australian Winter Crop Update.