Latest News

New – 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

New – 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 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 :

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.

Industry Videos link     PIT Group link

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 is a University of California Cooperative Extension nut crop pomology farm advisor for Merced County, the 4th largest producing county of almonds in California. His primary roles are to extend research -based information relevant to nut crop production to growers within California, troubleshoot orchard production problems, and establish research projects that address needs within the nut crop industries.

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):

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

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:

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