New Chickpea Variety Available for Legume
Lovers By Jan
Suszkiw December 28, 2005
Legume farmers and consumers alike stand to benefit from a new,
high-yielding chickpea variety that will be sold for commercial production in
the spring of 2006.
"Dylan" is the product of a cooperative effort involving Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) scientists and
collaborators from four state agricultural experiment stations.
Muehlbauer, a supervisory plant geneticist in ARS'
Legume Genetics and Physiology Research Unit at Pullman, Wash., Dylan
produced higher yields than two leading chickpea varieties, "Dwelley" and
"Sierra," during field trials in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Dylan's
seed yields were 15 percent higher than Dwelley's (1,622 pounds per acre versus
1,406) and 9 percent higher than Sierra's (1,622 vs. 1,490).
Dylan outperformed Dwelley in California trials and also outperformed
"Sanford," another test variety, at some trial locations in North Dakota and
South Dakota. Trials were also conducted in Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska.
The new chickpea's seeds are large, cream-colored and of the Kabuli
typethe kind served in salad bars or added to ethnic dishes. The chickpea
should also be suitable for dry packaging, according to Muehlbauer. Dylan grows
to about 15 inches high, forms fern-like leaves, and reaches maturity around
106 days after planting, depending on climactic conditions. It also resists
disease caused by the Ascochyta blight fungus, A. rabiei, which
occurs in most U.S. chickpea production areas.
Dylan owes its outstanding yield, disease resistance and other traits
to crosses that Muehlbauer made in 1994 between Dwelley and another chickpea,
Large-seeded Kabuli chickpeas are generally categorized as dry edible
beans. American consumers eat between 6 and 7 pounds of dry edible beans per
person, with pinto, navy, black and Great Northern dry beans being the most
popular types. Annual U. S. sales are nearly $2 billion, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Economic Research Service.
Requests for foundation seed should be directed to the
Washington State Crop Improvement
ARS is the USDA's chief scientific research agency.