Chickpea in semiarid cropping systems
Relative to other pulse crops such as dry-pea (Pisum sativum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is still new in western Canada. In 1999, there were 350,000 acres of chickpea seeded in Saskatchewan with more than 75% of the seeded area being located in the districts of Swift Current, Shaunavon, Moose Jaw, Rosetown, and Assiniboia (Noble 2000). Approximately 93% of the seeded chickpea area was harvested in Saskatchewan in 1999 (Statistics Canada, 1999). Due to abundant rainfall and generally cooler than normal growing conditions in 1999, some late-seeded chickpea fields did not reach full maturity. The best production success came in the southwest corner of Saskatchewan where the growing season (May to August) precipitation usually is less than 8 inches. The deeper rooting habit and the tolerance to water stress makes chickpea a winner under these adverse drought conditions. The objective of this study was to develop agronomic information for the inclusion of chickpea in cropping systems for the semiarid prairie region. The focus has been on aspects pertaining chickpea water use characteristics, stubble effect, re-cropping constraints, and other rotational considerations.
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