UC Estimates Costs and Returns for Growing Garbanzo Beans

By Pam Kan-Rice, UCANR

The UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Issues Center has released two new studies on the estimated costs and returns of producing garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

“Although acreage is relatively small, garbanzos are an important crop because California growers produce the large, cream-colored seed that’s used for the canning industry, often used for garnishes for salads,” said Rachael Long, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor serving Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties.

Chick pea seedlings in field.

The studies estimate the cost of producing garbanzo beans on 200 acres as part of a row crop rotation, using subsurface drip irrigation. A three-row bed tillage implement shallowly chisels, tills and reshapes the beds, avoiding disturbance of the buried drip tape left in place. Planting of seed treated for fungal and seedling diseases—Ascochyta rabiei, Rhizoctonia and Pythium—into residual soil moisture occurs in December. Seeding rates for the garbanzo beans are 85 pounds per acre.

Input and reviews were provided by UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates. Assumptions were used to identify current costs for the garbanzo bean crop, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. A ranging analysis table shows profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

Chick peas nearing harvest.

“The importance of these studies right now is that they are currently being used to help secure USDA crop insurance for garbanzo production, expected in 2020,” Long said.

The new studies are titled: “Sample Costs to Produce Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), in the Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin Valleys – 2018” and “Sample Costs to Produce Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), in the Southern San Joaquin Valley – 2018.”

Both studies can be downloaded from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu. Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities are also available at the website.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or the local UCCE Farm Advisors; Sarah Light, selight@ucanr.edu, Rachael Long, rflong@ucanr.edu, Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, mmleinfeldermiles@ucanr.edu, or Nicholas E. Clark, neclark@ucanr.edu.

No-tillage Grows in California

The list of crops that have been successfully grown using no-tillage in California continues to increase with garbanzo beans being the latest addition, according to Jeffrey P. Mitchell, CE cropping systems specialist, University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Harvest data from the Conservation Tillage Workgroup are now in for a 2015 garbanzo crop that was no-till seeded in January in the longstanding conservation agriculture systems study field in Five Points, CA, and these data indicate no difference in yield between the no-till with and without cover crop treatments and the standard till with and without cover crop systems. Garbanzo yields for the four systems averaged about 3,600 lbs / acre with no statistical differences seen between the four experimental treatments.

Other than an herbicide spraying in the fall of 2014 to knock down weeds, the no-tillage systems relied on zero tillage prior to seeding that was done with a John Deere 1730 6-row 30” planter. Conventional tillage consisting of several passes of a Wilcox Performer bed-shaping tillage implement was done to prepare planting beds in the standard tillage plots as would be commonly done in the region.

There is now a growing list of several crops, including processing tomatoes, cotton and dairy forage that have been successfully produced, both in research studies and on California farms, with economically viable yields using no-tillage seeding.

Additional information about this study is available at the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center (CASI) website and by contacting Jeff Mitchell at jpmitchell@ucdavis.edu.

Established in 1998, the Conservation Cropping Systems Workgroup is a diverse group of more than 1,500 farmer, University of California, California State University, USDA – NRCS, Resource Conservation District, public agency, private sector and environmental group members that have come together to promote conservation cropping systems in California.

Featured Photo Soure: Source: CASI (Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation) Center, University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources