SCHUYLER CO., N.Y. — Chickpeas are an emerging story in New York agriculture. Market savvy growers are seeing consumer interest build in plant-based proteins, and local food producers, such as Ithaca Hummus and Antithesis, have been searching for locally grown chickpeas. About two years ago, a few farms in Schuyler County began growing chickpeas to explore the potential of the crop. Recently, NYFVI awarded funding to the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) to lead a project with local growers to identify the economics of the crop and the best varietals for the New York climate.
Chickpeas are susceptible to blight which is why they are grown mainly in more arid areas, however there is evidence that some varieties can be a viable crop. In the U.S. most production takes place in California and the Pacific Northwest.
The NYFVI-funded project titled Providing New York Farmers with a diversified revenue stream through additional Chickpea and Lupini trials to determine optimum growing conditions and yields will continue work to identify the best varieties, conditions, and methods to grow chickpeas in New York State. The project will also collect the economic data necessary for a grower to understand the cost of production. If successful, the project could help start scaling chickpea production in New York State and provide another crop for farmers to increase diversification in the region.
Judy McKinney Cherry is the Executive Director of SCOPED and said of the project, “It is critically important for farms to diversify in order to weather changes in the economy, weather, and consumer habits. As more and more food products require higher protein ingredients there is a growing need for specialty crops like chickpeas and lupini. Chickpeas and lupini have been identified as a major ingredient in newer food products and there is some evidence suggesting they can be grown as a means to diversify revenue sources for farms. We are grateful to the NYFVI for this funding so we can see if they are reputable and sustainable crops in the state.”
The New York Farm Viability Institute is a nonprofit grantmaking organization. The organization runs a competitive grant program that seeks to fund agricultural research and education projects that will create and share knowledge to improve the economic viability of New York’s farmers. If you are a New York farmer and would like to get involved in our review process, please reach out to Aileen Randolph at email@example.com.
–New York Farm Viability Institute