Commodities & markets, Costs & returns, Management, Studies

New cost and returns studies for Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)

The UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Issues Center has released two new studies on the costs and returns of producing garbanzo beans (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.

The studies estimate the cost of producing garbanzo beans on 200 acres as part of a row crop rotation, using sub-surface drip irrigation. A 3-row bed tillage implement shallowly chisels, tills and re-shapes the beds, avoiding disturbance of the buried drip tape left in place. Planting of treated seed (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 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.

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.

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

“Sample Costs to Produce Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), in the Southern San Joaquin Valley – 2018

These studies and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. They can be downloaded from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at


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,, Rachael Long,, Michelle Leinfelder-Miles,, or Nicholas E. Clark,

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The Agricultural Issues Center is now the UC Davis California Agricultural Issues Lab.


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