Desi chickpea varieties are short and earlier in maturity. They are higher yielding and more resistant to mechanical, frost, and insect damage than Kabuli varieties. The area of adaptation can extend into the moist Dark Brown soil zone if grown on stubble or on lighter textured soils.
Kabuli chickpea varieties are strongly indeterminate, usually maturing in 110 to 120 days. In a cool, wet season, the maturity of Kabulis can easily extend past 120 days. The Brown soil zone provides the conditions most likely to encourage maturity in a reasonable time. Frost in the fall usually causes more damage to Kabuli varieties and increases the level of green seed.
Yield is an obvious consideration within a market class. However, other characteristics such as disease tolerance, maturity, or harvestability can quickly overshadow potential yield gains if the plant is limited in reaching its full potential.
Most of the current varieties have improved resistance to ascochyta blight. Continued breeding efforts are underway to increase the levels of resistance to ascochyta blight, decrease days to maturity, and improve seed quality.