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Historical document

Facilitating the technical development of the Australian pistachio industry (PS06001)

Key research provider: Pistachio Growers of Australia
Publication date: September, 2011

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

In general the Australian Pistachio Industry was a relatively young industry and the information being used to establish the industry was based very much on material from overseas.

The Australian growers saw a need to collect local information for the industry to expand and produce high quality nuts.

The Pistachio Growers Association Incorporated, with the assistance of the Australian Government through Hort Innovation (which was then Horticulture Australia Limited), established a position of a Research Field Officer.

During the period from October 2006 to October 2011 the Research Field Officer, Dr Jianlu Zhang undertook significant field research in areas including:

  • Chill Hours
  • Stylar and Lesion
  • Kernel Fill
  • Winter Oil Application
  • Nut Size Prediction
  • Pruning and Thinning
  • Reflective Mulch

In each year, trials were undertaken and the results collated. From the 5 years, significant data had been collected, collated and analysed. The results were regularly transferred to the growers. There were significant advances made as a result of this project. The establishment of the dynamic model for predicting chill hours had been established as the ‘tool’ for the Pistachio industry. The research had been translated into yearly calculations which were delivered each season to the growers for their use.

Winter Oil applications, use of reflective mulch and the importance of calcium were just a few of the other practical results from this work.

With the crop losses in 2010/11, the project was modified to allow for additional work on fungal diseases. As a result it was established that with the right environmental conditions Anthracnose would express itself in a manner never seen before.

Work by Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services, SARDI and a number of Pistachio growers resulted in significant information being collected, collated and distributed to the growers. This went some way in assisting growers to manage the problem in the future.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Pistachio Growers of Australia.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2011. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).