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Ongoing project

Pistachio production research program (PS22000)

Key research provider: Pistachio Growers' Association

What is it all about?

This project supports improvements in the cultivation of pistachios and the uptake of new and changing production practices through research, development and extension activities.

Continuing the work of the Pistachio productivity improvement program (PS17003), this project supports the role and activities of a pistachio researcher who, in conjunction with other research associates, is tasked with undertaking ongoing field research for pistachios.

Specific research goals of the program include:

  • Understanding the impact of growing degree days on the physiology and input requirements.

  • Investigating the causes and techniques to manage pre-juvenile shoot-death dieback, including further pathological and viroid.

  • Understanding chill identification, optimised techniques through a mechanistic understanding and whether the increased concentrations of oils and polymers mitigate the issues.

  • Investigating the role of chill, the role of polymers to manage blanks in spring temperature.

  • Strengthening information gathering on practices both here and overseas to provide some guidance on the future direction of research.

  • Full review and analysis of the past and current pistachio research, development and extension and a comprehensive report prepared and presented to the Pistachio R&D Committee. Specific areas to be covered will include nut abortion, blanks, pollination, crop nutrition, nut size, chill management, heat, pruning and benchmarking.

  • Ongoing development and assessment of the ‘modified central leader’ tree structure as a method of better establishing young trees and achieving earlier nut production.

  • Chill hours collection of hourly temperature data from the Bureau of Meteorology weather stations, weekly data processing, bud break observation, and the preparation of three (3) winter chill reports to growers - June, July, August each year. Representing fifteen (15) reports across the life of the project.

  • Preparation of a minimum of two (2) technical bulletins per year (minimum of ten (10) over the life of the project) for use in technology transfer, distribution to the pistachio growers and to beup-loaded onto the PGAI website.

  • Presentation of relevant research at a minimum of four (4) field days/farm walks annually to further improve the interaction between the PR and industry members of these regional ‘Tech Groups’. This representing a minimum of twenty (20) across the life of the project.

  • Visits to growing regions and hold one-on-one meetings with individual growers twice a year – June/July and October/November. This would represent a minimum of thirty (30) grower visits per year (a minimum of one hundred and fifty (150) grower visits across the life of the project).

  • Uploading of the industry Data Sets onto the PGAI website and for circulation to participating growers.

  • Publication of research results in industry publications and international journals.
Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Pistachio Fund