PERFECT PULSE: Region experiences best chickpea season in years.
PERFECT PULSE: Region experiences best chickpea season in years. Jamie Brown

Bumper chickpea crop

IT'S TAKEN 59 years but Gindie farmer Ian Sampson says he is experiencing the most successful chickpea season as his time as a farmer.

"It's been a great year for chickpea,” he said.

"I've never seen anything like it.”

Chickpea crops have prospered as weather conditions around the region presented a near-perfect season.

"The June July months were magnificent. We saw over 200ml of rain. It set the crop up for a great season” Mr Sampson said.

The good weather conditions continued throughout the season with only a slight risk mould to crops due to a few days of rain in September. However, the good conditions prevailed to produce dense crops with an incredibly high yield.

"Most farmers in our area are averaging about 2.5 ton per hectare,” Mr Sampson said.

Due to the density, harvesting the pulse will be a difficult and long process, but with chickpea prices remaining around $800/ton Mr Sampson said he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I'd sign up for another two years just like it,” he said.

"It's been a very good year for farmers. There are not many years when price is high and yield is high.”

Chickpea prices have increased in recent years due to bas seasons across Asia, creating shortage in the market.

Wheat crops have also been successful this season. Even though the price for the grain isn't as competitive as chickpea, the conditions in the region have provided farmers with a higher than average yield.

Maguires Real Estate and Livestock agent Tim Maguire said with many farmers in the area reaping the rewards of a successful season, surrounding towns are set to benefit.

"From an economic point of view the crop harvesting is beneficial to Emerald and the surrounding towns,” he said.

"This is the best winter the area has seen in 40 to 50 years.”

However, it's the combination of the agriculture and livestock sectors that will really make an impact in Central Queensland.

"Farmers are not only harvesting record agricultural yields but they are also benefiting from 40 year record cattle prices,” Mr Maguire said.

"It will bring money into the local economy, especially to small and medium sized businesses. It will have a big impact.”


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