03/01/2014 11:16 EST | Updated 05/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Rising popularity of hummus drives growth in production of chickpeas in the Palouse region

SPOKANE, Wash. - The rising popularity of hummus across the nation has been good for farmers like Aaron Flansburg.

Flansburg, who farms 1,900 acres near the town of Palouse, has been increasing the amount of chickpeas he grows by about one-third each year to take advantage of good prices and rising demand.

Acreage devoted to chickpeas has exploded in the past decade in Washington and Idaho, which grow some two-thirds of the nation's supply.

In the Palouse region, there are more than 150,000 acres producing chickpeas today, up from about 12,000 acres in 2000. That's according to Todd Scholz of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are also grown in California, Montana, North Dakota and other states.