Pulse weekly outlook: Chickpea acres ‘sharply’ down

Chickpeas. (Grigorenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

MarketsFarm — Despite prices higher than last year’s, Canada’s chickpea acres are expected to decline this year and, in turn, will result in less production in the 2021-22 crop year.

High-delivered bids for Kabuli chickpeas, the type most commonly grown in Canada, run from 25 to 35 cents/lb., three to seven cents higher than last year, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data from Tuesday.

This year, 212,200 acres of chickpeas will be planted in Canada, according to Statistics Canada, marking a decline from 297,800 acres from last year.

“I believe (acres) are more sharply down than published,” Colin Young of Mid-West Grain at Moose Jaw, Sask. said, attributing the decline to the shift toward other high-priced crops, chickpeas’ susceptibility for disease and potential for dry growing conditions this summer.

“The market is definitely higher than it was a year ago, definitely higher than it was six months ago. It has not seen the same performance that lentils, canola or flax have seen.”

Carl Potts, executive director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, also believes chickpea acres will come down sharply this year, but added that pulses can typically withstand dry growing conditions.

“We need moisture to make a crop, but pulses are well-adapted to drier conditions,” Potts said.

“Farmers have a lot of options (this year). What we’ve been hearing is producers are sticking to their rotations because many crops they are planting this year have the potential to be profitable if they produce average-to-good crops. That’s positive from a long-term sustainability perspective.”

— Adam Peleshaty reports for MarketsFarm from Stonewall, Man.

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