Date of this Version
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, G1676.
Ascochyta blight is the most serious chickpea disease worldwide. Integrating genetic resistance, crop rotation and fungicide application is the best way to manage the disease.
The chickpea (Cicer arietinum), also known as the garbanzo bean, is an annual grain legume crop that ranks among the world’s three most important pulses (seed legumes used as food). It is an important source of protein in many parts of central Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean, and among food legumes it is the most effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels. India is the largest producer, currently growing 78 percent of the world’s crop, followed by Pakistan, Mexico, Turkey, and Ethiopia. The crop is native to western Asia and the Middle East, and it is usually grown as a rain-fed, cool-weather crop or as a dry-climate crop in semiarid regions.
Interest in chickpea production in the United States as an alternative crop to spring cereals has increased rapidly in the Pacific Northwest where rainfall is marginal. The leading producers currently in the United States are Idaho, Washington, California, and North Dakota. Due to a number of issues including agronomic, processing, and marketing constraints, production in the central High Plains has been sporadic. However, production in Nebraska, has fluctuated substantially over the past decade, with a high of more than 10,000 acres in 2006. Despite a reputation for poor yields, chickpeas have the potential for more than 4,000 lb/acre, and production is expected to increase in the foreseeable future.