A love of a good challenge is driving one Lower Eyre Peninsula grower to stay the course with Kabuli chickpeas, despite being the only cropper in region to tackle the legume.
Tarren Minhard, Cummins, said he was drawn to the crop in part due to the memories of his father growing it in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Although his father moved on from chickpeas when Ascochyta wiped out the crop, Mr Minhard decided to try his hand in 2017 and has kept the crop in his rotation ever since.
"They're a bit like Goldilocks and need the perfect flowering window and temperatures to grow pods and keep them but I love the challenge," he said.
"Last year I thought we would've had a bumper year because of the wet, but they grew a lot of biomass and didn't pod as much.
"This year it's been hotter and the season's cut off a lot earlier."
With wheat, barely, canola and lentils to reap as well, Mr Minhard said his chickpea crop would be the last paddock to be reaped and expected to finish his program sometime in December.
"We sold chickpeas for $1000 a tonne last year and we averaged about 2.4t per hectare," he said.
"This year we're hoping for about 2.5t to 2.8t/ha and I've got 80ha in this year.
"They're looking nice and green in the paddock so I'm hoping for a good result."
Following the tough season in 2022-23, Australian Grain Export pulse trader William Alexander said there was currently suppressed demand for Kabuli chickpeas.
"Kabulis last year really didn't like wet weather and we know we had a very wet year for crops," he said.
"We had all sorts of skin issues due to the rain having longer to affect them.
"We figured with the rain the larger type Kabulis would have done well, the grains would be filling and the size would be good, but we got the opposite last year where we hardly found any large Kabulis anywhere.
"It was a very hard product to sell last year and that still continues now."
Although last season's crop was plagued with issues, Mr Alexander said he was hopeful the tide could change and the market would bounce back following the upcoming harvest.
"It's obviously a lot drier and warmer this growing season so I'm hoping the new Kabuli crop is better," he said.
"The market is really weird, it can do nothing for three months and then it can go crazy so it's hard to say what the prices will be like after this harvest.
"This season, we could start at $700 or $800/t and then potentially get back to a normal of over $1000/t if they're good quality."
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