Chickpea has become an important grain legume crop in Australia over the last decade. New varieties with improved seed yield and quality are being developed in Australia with varied phenological and agronomic traits. This study examined the optimum time of sowing of several desi chickpea varieties (Dooen, T1587, Sona and Tyson) varying in phenology over a range of dryland Mediterranean-type environments in south-western Australia.Chickpea showed good adaptation, particularly in the northern grain belt of Western Australia where growing conditions are warmer than southern areas. Seed yields varied widely depending on the time of sowing, location and seasonal conditions. Mean seed yields greater than 1000 kg/ha and up to 2000 kg/ha were achieved, but in some cases seed yields were less than 800 kg/ha. In the northern region, seed yield was almost doubled by sowing in early-May ( 1625 kg/ha) compared with late-June ( 754 kg/ha). In contrast to this, seed yields were generally lower in the southern regions and greater from late-June sowings ( 865 kg/ha) compared to earlier mid-May sowings ( 610 kg/ha).Seed yields were not clearly increased by altering sowing time to match the phenology of the variety to the growing season rainfall and temperatures, except at the early sowing times ( April and early-May) where Tyson out-yielded all other varieties. This is most likely due to the lack of photoperiod-responsive, long-duration varieties to match early sowing and low temperatures limiting vegetative and reproductive growth in all varieties, especially in southern areas. However, it is likely that early flowering varieties will show greater adaptation and yield performance in short growing seasons, while later flowering varieties will be better suited to longer growing seasons.The study found that there were significant differences in the optimum sowing time between northern, central and southern sites, and early May at central and northern sites.
Regan, K. L., Siddique, K., Brandon, N. J., Seymour, M., & Loss, S. P. (2006). Response of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) varieties to time of sowing in Mediterranean-type environments of south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46(3), 395-404. https://doi.org/10.1071/EA05091