Document Type


Publication Date



Agronomy Department

Circular Number



agronomy, plant science, chickpea


Chickpeas, (Cicer arietinum L.) are grown on approximately 10.8 million hectares in 34 countries for a world production of 7 .5 million metric tons of grain. The average yield of 700 kg/ha is rather low. While there are many reasons for low productivity, this circular addresses just one – the lack of high yielding, disease resistant cultivars in various regions in the world including South Dakota. During the 1985 season SDSU researchers began an attempt to increase the yield level of chickpeas by incorporating resistance genes into susceptible but high yielding genotypes. Normally, chickpeas are grown with conserved moisture, so the first priority is to generate material suitable to rain-fed conditions. Fusarium wilt disease is common in some countries, while Ascochyta blight is prevalent in others. Ascochyta blight is found in South Dakota. During 1985, the disease developed uniformly throughout the experimental plots at Highmore, helping us identify lines resistant to Ascochyta blight disease. Because of low rainfall, low humidity, and high temperature, Highmore is better suited for growing chickpeas than Brookings. However, early drought stress in 1985, followed by unexpected heavy rains at the end of the growing season, caused heavy pod losses in all chickpea experimental sites in the state. The bulk of the chickpea research was conducted at Highmore because the environment was favorable. In addition, the majority of individual selections made in early generations and/or in advanced materials were carried out at Highmore. High humidity and continuous rainfall prevented early planting and early maturity at Brookings. However, an effort was made to (1) collect data from one yield trial, (2) make hybridizations, and (3) conduct cultural practice studies. Also, several chickpea lines were tested in different nurseries at four other locations in South Dakota and at one location in Sidney, NE. Planting began April 13 at Wall and was completed by planting the increase (SDGI-6) on June 6, 1985, at Highmore. Harvesting was started at Wall on August 8 and completed on September 17 at Bristol. All early generations and screening nurseries were grown in single-row plots with 60-cm (2-ft] spacing between rows. Replicated trials were planted in four-row plots with 30-cm (1-ft] spacing between rows. Ten-cm [4-inch) spacing between plants within rows was maintained in all nurseries. Treflan at the rate of 1 ½ pt/acre was preincorporated to control annual grasses and small-seeded annual broadleaves such as pigweed and lambsquarter. The season, as a whole, was very favorable for screening materials for Ascochyta blight disease and for identifying promising high yielding lines.










Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University