New – Demand for pistachios is going nuts giving growers good reason to smile. ABC News online article 14/04/2019
Despite expanding their orchard Martin and James Simpfendorfer cannot keep up with demand. Photo courtesy ABC Rural: Jessica Schremmer.
A cold winter and hot summer has given pistachio growers good reason to celebrate, with many farmers harvesting great volumes despite being in the “off-year” crop cycle — and demand for the green nut is rising rapidly. Robinvale pistachio grower and director of Australian Pioneer Pistachio Company, Chris Joyce, said looking at the two-year average the industry was doing well and growers were confident.
“Pistachios are an alternate-bearing crop, so one year they have a big crop and the next year they have a much lesser crop,” he said. “In 2018 we had a record crop and in 2019 we had the inevitable off-crop, significantly less than the previous crop. Read the full article here: Pistachios_Simpfendorfer_12_04_2019
The May 2019 Task List for Pistachios by Bob Beede, University of California farm advisor now available.
The latest task list for pistachios by Bob Beede. Even though the Caliufornians received good winter chilling this year, the cool spring weather has delayed pistachio leaf out and bloom by five to seven days. This spring is a great example of how, even with good chilling, pistachio plant development can be delayed by cool temperatures.
As usual it is full of great information – but remember the US season is 6 months out! Read it here – Pistachio_Tasks79816
April 2019 PIT Group Sessions at Fisher in SA and Merbein in Victoria – report available.
The 2019 Autumn Sessions of the PGAI PIT Group program was well attended in the two locations (Riverland and Sunraysia) they were held. Darin Gladigau’s property at Fisher in SA and Tim Beard’s property at Merbein in Victoria.
- Understanding Pistachio Pollination / Managing Male Trees, presented by Dr. Ben Thomas
- Pistachio Research Update, presented by Dr Subha Abeysinghe
- 2019 Pistachio Harvest Update prepared by Chris Joyce and presented by Trevor Ranford
- The importance of Orchard Quality Assurance, presented by Tim Beard
More information and photographs of the days can be found here: April 2019 PIT Group Sessions
The April 2019 Task List for Pistachios by Bob Beede, University of California farm advisor now available.
The latest task list for pistachios by Bob Beede. As usual it is full of great information – but remember the US season is 6 months out! Read it here – Pistachio_Tasks79329
Alternatively find it with Bob’s previous newsletters in the Latest Newsletters page on the PGAI website.
Announcement on Biosecurity Steering Committee – 5th March 2019
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has announced the chair and members of the biosecurity levy steering committee.
The committee contains representatives from industry and farm groups to help steer an informed delivery for the levy, which will see importers pay for biosecurity border screening.
The Chair will be Mr David Trebeck. Mr Trebeck currently chairs Australia’s Oyster Coast Ltd and has been a non-executive director of six ASX-listed companies since 1997, including GrainCorp Ltd (13 years) and Incitec Pivot Ltd, and has been involved in shipping since 1974.
He was a non-executive director of the shipping company, AP Moller Maersk, a National Water Commissioner, director of the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation and contributed to the Commonwealth Government inquiries into Long Term Policy for the Agriculture and Food Sector, Fuel Taxation, Biosecurity and three Commonwealth Fisheries. He also worked with the National Farmers Federation from 1972-1983 and co-authored the Beale Review into biosecurity in 2008.
The steering committee will also include Paul Zalei from the Freight Trade Alliance; Margie Thomson from the Cement Industry Federation, Mike Gallacher from Ports Australia, Mike Sousa from Qube Holdings, Rod Nairn AM from Shipping Australia, Brian Lovell from the Australian Federation of International Forwarders, and Tony Mahar from the National Farmers Federation.
“Australia’s border biosecurity protects our food supply, 300,000 jobs, the $60 billion agriculture industry and our way of life,” Minister Littleproud said.
“If our border biosecurity is breached and say foot and mouth disease entered Australia, consumers would pay much more for meat and the losses to farmers would be around $50 billion.
“Those creating biosecurity risk should contribute fairly to addressing that risk, remembering pests and diseases arrive on the hulls and decks of ships and not just in the imported product itself.
“If the taxpayer alone bears the burden of protecting Australia then companies being bailed out by the taxpayer are unlikely to take our biosecurity seriously.”
Minister Littleproud said he was also glad Joel Fitzgibbon has put the following on record:
‘Labor supports the rationale for the biosecurity levy. Labor is committed to a properly funded biosecurity system.’
News Media release can be found here
The Pistachio Industry Newsletter P.I. News, Technical Bulletin for January 2019.
This ‘Technical Edition’ of PI News is prepared as one of the outputs of Project PS17002 – Technology Transfer for Pistachio growers utilising regional grower Tech Groups (PIT Groups) & events. Topics include:
- ABARES Outlook Conference 2019
- Trial of the VELCRO® Brand – 50mm x 45m Blue UV Plant Tie Product
- Getting biosecurity zoning right
- Farm chemical safety videos and much more….
PGAI Seasonal Notes for January 2019 by Dr Ben Thomas.
We are now in the nut fill period of the pistachio production cycle which is a critical phase of the pistachio production cycle when the kernel grows and causes the shell to split. Good management during this phase will maximise kernel growth and shell splitting. Key issues at this time are understanding kernel development, managing irrigation and nutrition and preparing the orchard for harvest. This is also the time for leaf analysis and budding young trees. Read more here: Seasonal Notes_January 2019
Managing the risks of working in heat from Safe Work Australia.
Working in heat can be hazardous and can cause harm to workers. The human body needs to maintain a body temperature of approximately 37 degrees Celsius. If the body has to work too hard to keep cool or starts to overheat a worker begins to suffer from heat-related illness. This guide produced by Safe Work Australia shows you how to manage the risks. Download the guide here: guide_for_managing_the_risks_of_working_in_heat_1
University of California January 2019 Pistachio Tasks by Bob Beede.
January 2019 Task List for Pistachios, by Bob Beede, UCCE Farm Advisor, Emeritus. A good read, guaranteed as usual by Bob, but keep in mind the 6 month difference! Link Here: Pistachio_Tasks77712
Latest US Chill paper by Dr Louise Ferguson and others.
California growers in the San Joaquin Valley believe that climate change will affect
the pistachio yield dramatically. As the central valley fog disappears, insufficient dormant chill
accumulation results in poor flowering synchrony, flower quality, and fruit set in this dioecious
species. We have developed a novel, user-friendly, and low-cost Voice-Controlled Wireless Solid Set Canopy Delivery (VCW-SSCD) system to increase bud chill accumulation with evaporative cooling on sunny (winter) days.
The paper can be found in the PGAI Chilling Requirements page here
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Another year draws to a close and a new one about to start. Overall it has been a great year for the Australian Pistachio Industry and on behalf of the PGAI I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year! Please take care over the Christmas – New Year period. See you all in 2019!
Workplace Health and Safety
You may not realise it but farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia. Only one in 10 workplaces are farms, yet they account for one quarter of all work-related deaths. Children under 15 years and adults over 65 years are more likely than others to be injured or killed on farms. Males are more likely to be injured than females.
You can reduce the risk of farm injuries and illness at your farm by evaluating the risks and taking steps to minimise them. Accidents can be prevented through better farmer education, making sure equipment is well maintained and has adequate safety features, having safety procedures in place, and training every worker and family member about potential dangers and the proper, safe use of equipment and machinery
Link to the PGAI WHS webpage here
Voice of Horticulture welcomes Federal Government’s endorsement to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity.
The Federal Government has agreed to all recommendations made in an independent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) – which has a mandate to strengthen Australia’s national biosecurity system. Peak horticulture body, the Voice of Horticulture has welcomed the news, saying the review of the IGAB also represented a commitment by all governments to build a stronger national biosecurity system to meet any new challenges and protect Australia’s farming future. Full Press Release here: VoH Media Release -20181130
PMA A-NZ Produce Executive Program
The 2019 PMA A-NZ Produce Executive Program is now open for enrolment. The program is a fully
residential business school style executive course combining skill development, industry learning and networking led by world class teachers alongside senior industry leaders.
Early Bird Discount: Get $500 off the program fee if you register by the 25th of January, 2019. Or get 10% off for 3 participants, 15% for 4 or 20% for 5. The 2018 program was fully booked so get in early to avoid missing out! Download the brochure here: 2019-Produce-Executive-Program
NEW – November PIT Group and New Grower PIT Group Presentations and Photographs on-line now.
The very successful November 2018 PIT Group session at Martin Simpfendorfer’s property in the Riverland and Lake Powell session at Peter Holt’s property are now on-line. Presentations and pictures can be downloaded here. The presentations from the 2018 PGAI Symposium (Dr Bruce Lampinen’s talk and other presenter’s information) can be found here
PGAI NEW GROWER INFORMATION DAY
PGAI is proposing to have a special PIT Group solely aimed at new and prospective pistachio growers. This is a meeting specifically aimed at new growers (with young trees) and those investigating growing pistachios.
The New Grower PIT Group meeting will start at 9 (registration) for 9.30am start. Lunch 12-1, then by 1.30pm out to Josh Boram’s property for a session 1.30 to 3 pm.
Robinvale: Thursday 22nd of November, 9 am sharp
Address: Robinvale Golf Club, 4240 Murray Valley Hwy, Robinvale VIC 3549
Josh Boram’s property, Corner of Mills Lane and Murray Valley Highway,
Boundary Bend, Victoria, 3599
- Site selection/soils/soil analysis
- Tree selection/rootstocks/planting density/male tree percentage
- Pests and diseases (reference to 2011/orchard sanitation)
- Tree growth/budding/pruning/central leader etc
- What happens to the crop after harvesting?
Contact Craig on 0437 307 590 for more information or download the invite here: PIT Groups -November New Grower sessions – 2018 – Detailed program
PIT Groups – SPRING SESSIONS, November 20th and 21st. RSVP NOW.
This round of PIT Group meetings is an update on nutrition management and budgeting for your orchard, a pest and disease update and resultant sanitation and biosecurity needs. The Pistachio Industry’s new researcher, Dr Subhashini Abeysinghe will also present a research update.
Paringa: Tuesday 20th of November, 12 Noon sharp
Address: Martin Simpfendorfer’s property, Permedah Fruits, 21731 Sturt Highway, Parings, South Australia, 5340
Lake Powell: Wednesday 21st of November, 12 Noon sharp
Address: Peter Holt’s property, 76 Zara Lane, Lake Powell, Victoria, 3597
TOPICS (for both meetings):
- Pistachio nutrition/ nutrition budgeting/ foliar nutrition/ K Ben Thomas
- Pistachio pests and beneficials (almond pests highlighted) Stuart Pettigrew
- Orchard sanitation/biosecurity Brett Rosenzweig
- Pistachio Research Update Dr Subha Abeysinghe
Contact Craig on 0437 307 590 for more information or download the invite here: PIT Groups -November sessions – 2018 – Detailed program
NEW- QLD Gov/HIAL Online Chill Calculator
This site accesses daily weather station data for the period 1968 to the current year for 600 locations across Australia. This data is used to make calculations for the accumulation of winter chill and growing degree days/hours.
Because the chill and growing degree day calculations are based on weather data from the Long Paddock SILO, the calculations can only be updated when the weather data becomes available. The weather data from yesterday is usually available after about midday (AEST). The Long Paddock SILO uses data form the Bureau of Meteorology and patches this to create complete daily data sets. Stations that no longer record temperature data are synthetically in-filled with gridded data derived from statistical analysis.
All calculations are performed using the chillR package of Luedeling et al. (2013) & Luedeling (2017). The website has been developed by the QLD Government in conjunction with Hort Innovation.
Link to the Website Here: Online Chill Calculator
Or access through the Chilling Requirement Page : http://www.pgai.com.au/chilling-requirements
Two Industry Stalwarts Honoured with PGAI Life Memberships.
Barb Isaacson and Dennis Lambert were recognised for their service to the Pistachio Industry and PGAI (approximately 30 years) with Life Membership Awards at the 2018 PGAI Symposium at Robinvale. Two deserving recipients. Well done!
Pictures: PGAI President Chris Lee awards Barb Isaacson and Dennis Lambert with Life Membership to PGAI.
Pistachio Irrigation Research Paper by Louise Ferguson et. al.
Sustainability of pistachio production (Pistacia vera L.) under supplemental
irrigation in a Mediterranean climate. The paper looks at the effects of supplemental micro-irrigation in a commercial rainfed orchard. Irrigating with 10–15% of estimated full evaporative demand significantly increased average annual productivity by increasing yield in the on-crop year of this alternate bearing species. Irrigation increased yield by 30%, resulting in 1600 kg of in-shell product per ha. You can download and read the research paper here: Marinoetal2018
2018 PGAI Symposium, Robinvale. RSVP Now Please.
The Pistachio Spring Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held:
ON: Thursday 13th September 2018
AT: 8:30 am at CMV Farms, Robinvale.
Followed by meeting at 10:00 am at the Robinvale Golf Club.
We have Dr Bruce Lampinen from the University of California as the keynote speaker.
This symposium will:
- Update current research in Australia on Pistachios.
- Present the various methods to tree pruning
- Provide a forum for questions and answers in relation to establishing new orchards and other orchard management.
- Update members on PGAI activities
Download the program (with attached RSVP form) and register today – Pistachio workshop – program September 2018
Tenth Edition Of the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report by PHA now available.
The tenth edition of the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report has been released this week by Plant Health Australia. The report is a guide to how Australia protects itself against exotic plant pests and diseases and reveals the tremendous effort being made across the country to sustain our plant industries, unique ecosystems and standards of living.
This year the report displays the system through the three layers of protection: pre-border, at the border and post-border, with examples of how the this works in specific circumstances. It details the efforts being made by everyone involved in plant biosecurity, be they the Australian or state governments, industries, research agencies and the community.
You can download your PDF copy Here: Status-Report-2017
2018 Chill newsletter out now.
Winter 2018 started out being very warm with few Chill Portions accumulated. June has been colder than average bringing the accumulated Chill close to average. We still need a cold July and August.
Further reports will be issued by the PGA on 30th July and 15th August to allow growers to plan for mitigation action should this be necessary. Download the report: PGAI Chill Newsletter No 1_5th July 2018
Historical Chill information can be found here: Chilling Requirements
June 2018 PIT Group meeting videos and presentations are now uploaded.
The June 2018 round of PIT Groups were held at the Loxton Research Centre and Irymple Research Centre (AgVic). 28 growers and Industry people attended the meetings. Dr Ben Thomas spoke on the winter pruning of mature trees, Dr Cathy Taylor gave an excellent presentation on Carpophilus beetle and the devasation it has caused in the almond industry and the vital importance of orchard sanitation. Blair Grossman continued the theme with Carob Moth, Chris Joyce described the new APPC benchmarking data set and Craig Feutrill describe how to navigate the PGAI PIT Group website.
Pistachio Pest Detector
As seen during the June 2018 PIT Group meetings, pests whether new to Australia or old pests of other crops that have changed lifestyle/food sources can cause enormous amounts of damage. There is a page now that you can report pests whether insects or diseases to PGAI, Plant Health Australia or your local Department of Agriculture. Link Here: Pest Detector
New – Dr. Jianlu Zhang’s Farewell – Retirement Dinner, Mildura Friday 8th of June (updated).
Thirty three members and guests gathered at the Grand Hotel Bistro on a cold, wet Friday night to honour Dr. Jianlu Zhang’s contribution to the Pistachio Industry in Australia over the last 15 years. Dr Zhang’s research has had significant impact on pistachio production within Australia and internationally as well. Thanks to James Simpfendorfer there are now 4 videos of the evenings speeches and presentations.
For more pictures and the videos of the night, go to Jianlu’s Farewell page: Dr Jianlu Zhang’s Farewell
If you have any photographs from the night, please forward them to me as I would like to include them on the webpage.
Don’t Forget: Dr Jianlu Zhang’s Retirement Dinner This Friday 8th June.
PGAI invites you to a night of celebration as Dr Jianlu Zhang retires after 15 years of pistachio research and development.
VoH welcomes Federal Budget’s support of export markets and biosecurity
The continued efforts made by Voice of Horticulture (VoH) in lobbying the Federal Government in terms of a policy and budget focus on biosecurity and exports, has seen fruition in this week’s 2018/19 Budget.
Chair, Tania Chapman welcomed the announcement of five key points relating to biosecurity, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and export trade assistance and said they would provide invaluable support in improving market access and on gaining new export opportunities.
Ms Chapman said the “real coup” was the announcement of additional funding to represent six Agricultural Trade Counsellors in six new countries, to be included in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, India, Chile and Russia, now extending the total number of Agricultural Trade Counsellors to 22.
Read the Press Release here: VoH Media Release – VoH welcomes Federal Budget’s support of export markets and biosecurity
Voice of Horticulture calls for policies to be put in place to deal with harassment
With the current volatile political environment, the Voice of Horticulture is calling on all its members to ensure they have the correct policies and procedures in place within their organisation to deal with sexual harassment and bullying.
Voice of Horticulture Chair, Tania Chapman said: “The Board’s aim is to ensure that all its members are protected and have a complete grasp on all sexual harassment and bullying issues which could affect an organisation, as well as their employees and volunteers”.
Ms Chapman stressed that “…whilst the focus is currently on women, we should remember that it can also include males within the organisation”.
“Our total aim should be for respect and equal opportunity regardless of age or gender” she added.
Read more of the press release here: VoH Media Release – policies_2018
California’s Pistachio and Almond Industry Presentation
David Doll from UCCE Merced’s presentation from the Second Pistachio Spring Symposium, held in Mildura in November 2017. Presentation is in in PDF format. Read more here: PistachioPresentationAustralia_opt
For Videos of David’s presentation at the Symposium click this link (login required): http://www.pgai.com.au/industry-videos#Mildura2017
Bob Beede, University of California February Task List.
The latest update from Bob Beede on the Californian Pistachio Industry. The update covers Rain and Irrigation (no rain!), an update on chill requirements, the use of oil for the new season as well as pest and disease management. Read more here: Pistachio_Tasks_USA_Cali_Feb_18
Note: USA and other newsletters can be accessed via http://www.pgai.com.au/latest-newsletters
Pistachio Seasonal Reminders. Summer and Pre-Harvest 2017/2018. An update by Ben Thomas.
Welcome to 2018! Hopefully, you all had a break during the Festive period and are refreshed and ready for the upcoming harvest period.
We are now in the nut fill period of the pistachio production cycle which is a critical phase when the kernel grows and causes the shell to split. Key orchard management issues at this time are irrigation and nutrition. This is also the time to prepare the orchard for harvest, take leaf analysis samples and bud young trees. Read more here: SummerPreharvest 2017-2018
For Older News Items click here: News Archive
PGAI Newsletters – keep up-to-date!
December 2015 Newsletter: 14 Pistachio-newsletter-vol-6-dec-15
September 2015 Newsletter: 13 Pistachio-newsletter-vol-5-sept-15
Aug/Sept 2015 Seasonal Reminders Newsletter: 12 Seasonal Reminders Late-Winter-Early-Spring-2015-Final
May 2015 Newsletter: 11 Pistachio-newsletter-vol-4-May-15
December 2014 Newsletter: 10 Pistachio newsletter Vol 3 Dec 14
November 2014 Newsletter: 09 Pistachio newsletter vol 2 15-Nov-14
January 2014 Newsletter: 08 Pistachio January Newsletter – 14 Jan 2014
December 2013 Newsletter: 07 Pistachio December 2013 Newsletter
November 2013 Newsletter: 06 Pistachio November 2013 Newsletter
June/July 2013 Newsletter: 05 Pistachio June July 2013 Newsletter (2)
May 2013 Newsletter: 04 Pistachio May 2013 Newsletter
March 2013 Newsletter: 03 Pistachio March 2013 Newsletter
February 2013 Newsletter: 02 Pistachio February Newsletter 2013
January 2013 Newsletter: 01 Pistachio January 2013 Newsletter
Weekly Australian climate, water and agricultural update
This weekly update provides up-to-date information on recent and forecast climatic conditions, water availability and commodity price movements.
For the week ending 12 October 2011, rainfall was mostly recorded in eastern Australia. The highest measured total for the week was 92 millimetres at Mt Read on the West Coast of Tasmania. Recent rainfall will benefit crops and pastures in southern New South Wales and Victoria, particularly where short term rainfall deficiencies exist.
Rainfall forecast for the next week could benefit crops and pastures particularly across eastern Australia.
View the latest weekly report from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority:
View the latest weather observations and forecast: