The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.
The common sizes are 7-8mm, 7-9mm and 8-9mm.
- Chickpea plants will tolerate frosts during the vegetative stage, but once flowering, frosts, if severe enough can cause flower drop.
- Warmer growing conditions are in fact preferred, on average a temperatures below 15º C will reduce pollen viability and can cause flower drop.
- An average temperature over 35º C will lower the potential yield and cause possible flower abortion.
- Therefore, timing of sowing is very important for high yield harvests.
As we mentioned timing is critical for harvesting chickpeas, so that the moisture content should be around 13 per cent. This is because any lower will risk in seed cracking/shattering.
Closed or open front headers can be used to harvest the seed but attention to the correct settings is vital.