Chickpeas Boost Pulse Popularity

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Chickpeas hum as hummus booms. Growing demand for hummus among consumers is pushing chickpea growers in Washington to boost their acreage for the crop, says Gary Ferrel, manager of Blue Mountain Seed Inc. in Walla Walla, Wash. Farmers appreciate the beans, also known as garbanzos, for their agronomic benefits.

"Chickpeas put a lot of natural nitrogen in the ground, so it decreases your fertilizer requirements for the following wheat crop," Ferrel says. In the Walla Walla Valley, winter wheat yields can reach 100 bu. or more per acre when rotating with a legume such as chickpeas every third year.

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