PIT Groups

Pistachio Information and Technology Groups – PIT Groups – scroll down for all links.

Pistachio Information and Technology Groups (PIT Groups) are an initiate of PGAI and partly funded by the Australian Government through Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA), beginning in 2014 in pistachio production regions. PIT Groups are a valuable source of information on all aspects of production, from irrigation through chill hours to harvesting, pest and disease management – and just a great opportunity to catch up with other Pistachio growers.

On this page you will find all presentations (in PDF format) from each of the meetings and yearly symposia and relevant photographs as well a few videos and PIT Group Meeting report summaries.

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Pistachio Growers listen to Ian Atkinson talk on drought management at the Renmark PIT Group

Technology Transfer to Pistachio growers utilising regional grower group.

The outputs from this project will be:

  1. Establishment of Pistachio ‘Tech Groups’ for growers within three regional areas of the Riverland. Mildura/Robinvale and Swan Hill.
  2. Regular communications and interaction between growers within the specific regions.
  3. A program of a minimum of two ‘Tech Group’ meetings/field days in each of the regions at relevant times of the production cycle.
  4. The utilisation of Australian and/or International Pistachio experts/technicians in ‘roadshows’ throughout the growing regions to give presentations on their specific areas of expertise.
  5. Compilation of technical information from overseas and Australia and the presentation of the material in a range of formats that can be utilised by any grower within the pistachio industry.
  6. Maintenance of an industry consultancy/advisor list and the delivery of current and up to date industry information to ensure a consistent message is being delivered to all Australian Pistachio growers.
  7.  Maintenance and expansion of the linkages between the Australian Pistachio Industry and the research and growing communities in the USA, Turkey, Iran and China.

PIT Group reports:

Click on the link below to take you to the PIT Group meeting in the series.  To return to the menu click on the ‘Top’ button at the bottom right of each report.

November 2018 PIT Group Meetings/Orchard Walks – Paringa and Lake Powell

The 2018 Spring Sessions of the PGAI PIT Group program was well attended in the two locations it was held.   On Tuesday 20th November there were 23 growers and presenters at Martin Simpfendorfer’s property, Permedah Fruits, just outside of Paringa in South Australia.

Dr. Ben Thomas gave a detailed talk on nutrition for pistachio trees for the Spring season with a particular emphasis on budgeting for the correct nutrition at the correct time with a focus on potassium application with respect to tree uptake and use.   Stuart Pettigrew reported on the latest findings from project PS16000 with respect to insect pests and beneficials found in pistachio orchards involved.  Essentially – at the moment – very few damaging pests found but very high levels of beneficial insects.  Stuart is working in conjunction with the Almond industry which have a project looking at Carpophilus beetle and Carob Moth.  Stuart’s talk was the perfect segue into Brett Rosenzweig’s discussion on the need for orchard sanitation particularly with respect to the problems the almond industry has encountered beginning with the 2013/4 season with Carpophilus beetle and Carob Moth.  Insects that were not a problem prior to the 2010/11 wet season.  New Pistachio Industry Researcher Dr. Subha Abeysinghe delivered a talk on her proposed research program, developed in conjunction with the Pistachio R&D Committee and identified grower requirements for ongoing/increasing healthy yields and tree health.  An extra speaker just for the Paringa meeting was Dr. Shane Phillips from Landmark who talked on the introductory trial on the use of polymer technology to increase chill in Pistachio orchards.  Shane has found that the use of spray applied polymer technology can increase chill portions in the trees ensuring the 59 chill portions required can be reached ensuring good crop set.  This trial is likely to continue.  Following the presentations there was a lengthy field walk looking at crop set, Dr Phillip’s polymer trial, tree health and nutrition status in the Permedah pistachio orchards.

The Lake Powell meeting at Peter Holt’s property had 15 growers and presenters and followed the same format as the Paringa meeting except for Dr Phillips presentation.  Again, a field walk and drive between Peter’s orchards looked at nutrition, pruning, male tree density and general orchard health for young trees.   Both PIT Group meetings were started with a BBQ.

Presentations:

Photo Gallery for the November 2018 PIT Group meeting.

Paringa:

Lake Powell

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November 2018 New Growers PIT Group Meeting Robinvale/Boundary Bend

The 2018 Spring Sessions of the PGAI PIT Group program included a third meeting aimed specifically at new growers and those who are considering growing pistachios.  The meeting was well attended at the Robinvale Golf Club with 24 registered to attend.  

Dr. Ben Thomas gave a detailed talk on all aspects of pistachio orchards, from site selection water and nutrition for pistachio trees with emphasis on budgeting for the correct nutrition at the correct time with a focus on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium application with respect to tree uptake and use.   Craig Feutrill delivered Stuart Pettigrew’s talk as he was unavailable for this meeting and reported on the latest findings from project PS16000 with respect to insect pests and beneficials found in pistachio orchards involved.  Essentially – at the moment – very few damaging pests found but very high levels of beneficial insects.  Stuart is working in conjunction with the Almond industry which have a project looking at Carpophilus beetle and Carob Moth.  The message from Stuart’s talk was the perfect segue into Brett Rosenzweig’s discussion on the need for orchard sanitation particularly with respect to the problems the almond industry has encountered beginning with the 2013/4 season with Carpophilus beetle and Carob Moth.  Insects that were not a problem prior to the 2010/11 wet season that have now developed into a multi-million dollar problem for the Almond industry with no easy solution in sight.

Grant Birrell from APPC gave an excellent presentation on what happens to pistachio nuts once harvested, where they go, how they are prepared for sale and the future developments occurring at Pioneer Pistachios to manage the expansion of the industry over the next 10-20 years.

After the presentation, lunch was supplied and then it was a 30-minute drive out to Harry and Josh Boram’s property at Boundary Bend.  At the Boram’s property we looked at planting methodology, nutrition, irrigation, pruning and pests/diseases.  Despite the short sharp rain showers all growers who attended asked many questions and shared knowledge.

Presentations:

Photo Gallery for the November 2018 PIT Group meeting.

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September 2018 PIT Group/PGAI Symposium – Robinvale

KEYNOTE PRESENTER: Bruce Lampinen, PhD
UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Tree Nut Soil Science and Plant Water Relations, Integrated Orchard Management Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California
DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT RESEARCH/OUTREACH ACTIVITIES:
Bruce has worked on canopy management in fruit and nut trees, influence of training systems on canopy structure and productivity, influence of water relations on tree development, influence of canopy size on soil temperature and food safety risk, remote and proximal sensing for estimating canopy cover, and development of an iPhone app for assessing canopy growth.
Bruce is responsible for overseeing almond and walnut research and extension programs statewide. This includes coordinating research activities among UC campus-based faculty, UC Cooperative Extension Specialists and county-based farm advisors. Bruce has also participated in educational outreach in China, Chile, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.
CURRENT RESEARCH

  • Developing the relationship between canopy light interception and yield potential in nut tree crops including almond, walnut and pistachio.
  • Developed an iPhone app for estimating canopy cover and productive potential in almond and walnut.
  • Developing the relationship between irrigation practices, tree growth and nut yield and quality in almond, walnut and more recently pistachio
  • Improving pruning and training systems in almond, walnut and pistachio
  • Assessing impacts of painting and particle clay films on tree winter chilling and carbohydrate dynamics in nut tree crops.

Presentations (linked):

A Video of a pistachio tree growth through the year as part of Dr Bruce Lampinen’s presentation.

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July 2018 PIT Group Pistachio Pruning Demonstration – Waikerie

The second round of the PIT Group Winter sessions was held in Waikerie at Richard Isaacson’s property.  A beautiful, sunny late Winter’s day saw about 30 growers attend the PIT Group.  Andrew Bowring from Kyalaite Pistachios, Phil Hewett from CMV Farms and Dr Ben Thomas gave an extended demonstration on the winter pruning of young and mature trees.

5 Videos of the day’s events can be found here:  http://www.pgai.com.au/industry-videos
Report for this Pit Group Meeting can be found here: July_2018_PITGroup_Report

Photo Gallery for the July 2018 PIT Group meeting.

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June 2018 PIT Group Meeting, Waikerie and Irymple – Presentations

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.

Presentations (linked):

  • Ben Thomas:  Winter pruning of mature Pistachio trees – Link: P2018-06-27pruning-BT
  • Dr Cathy Taylor:  Carpophilus beetle, problems in Almonds and the need for orchard sanitation – Link: PIT presentation Carpophilus and carob moth_CT_BG
  • Blair Grossman:  Carob Moth damage in almonds and orchard sanitation – part of the presentation above.
  • Chris Joyce:  Understanding the new APPC benchmarking data. – Link: Benchmarking 2018_CJ
  • Craig Feutrill:  Navigating the PGAI PIT Group website – online demonstration
  • Report for this Pit Group Meeting can be found here:  June_2018_PITGroup_Report

Photo Gallery for the June 2018 PIT Group meeting.

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September 2017 PIT Group/Symposium and Field walk

The September 2017 PIT Group Meeting, due to time constraints was combined with the Annual PGAI Symposium.  Approximately 45 growers and Industry people attended to meeting and field walk which demonstrated central/single leader pruning and new Croplands spray technology.

Presentations (linked):

Photo Gallery for the September 2017 PIT Group/Symposium and Field Walk:

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August 2017 PIT Group Field Day Robinvale: Link: 3rd August 2017 PITgroup Report

The 5th (August 2017) round of PIT groups meetings were held in incredibly wet conditions. The PIT Group meeting was held in a marquee set up at CMV Farms south of Robinvale.  The spray demonstration meeting was intended to have a talk by Geoff Furness on calibration and spray application followed by a spray plant demonstration with fluorescent dye.  After dinner – it was a late afternoon meeting – the 35 growers would assess the application with black lights    The outside part of the meeting had to be cancelled as the torrential rain precluded any spraying.  Geoff’s presentation however, highlighted the importance of spray coverage of all the bunches within the canopy with oil to achieved the desired results.

Presentation (linked):

Photo Gallery for the August 2017 PIT Group Field Day:

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June 2017 PIT Group Meeting: Link: June 2017 PITgroup Report

The 4th (June 2017) round of PIT groups meetings were held in better conditions than the last two meetings.   The meeting was a video conference featuring Bob Beede from California. 32 growers from all regions attended the meeting.

Farm Advisor Emeritus: Bob Beede has lived and worked in the San Joaquin Valley of California his whole career. He earned BS and MS degrees focusing on Plant Science, Agrarian Studies, and Postharvest Physiology at the University of California (UC) at Davis. For 35 years Bob worked as a UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor working out of Kings County. Although he is now retired, Bob continues to advise on a broad range of topics including pest management, entomology, plant pathology, cultural practices, plant physiology, herbicides, irrigation practices, soils, and water. His goals are to extend knowledge to farmers and agriculturalists through educational programs, publications such as APG eNews, farm calls, and to perform research related to his areas of expertise.

Presentations (Linked):

Photo Gallery for June 2017 PIT Group Meeting:

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November 2016 PIT Group Meeting/Orchard Walk: Link:  PIT Groups_November_2016 – report

The 5th round of PITgroup meeting occurred in November 2016 in weather much more conducive the meeting held the same time last year.   21 growers attended the two meetings – the first on Thursday November the 3rd at the Nangiloc Football Clubroom then onto Rodney Hands property for an orchard walk and demonstration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and the second meeting at  Bob Hodgson’s property the following day Friday the 4th, at Renmark.  I thank all the growers who took the time to attend these presentations and orchard walks.  I also sincerely thank hosts’ Bob Hodgson and Rodney Hand for allowing the use of their properties for the meetings or orchard walks.

Presentations (linked):

 Photo Gallery for November 2016 PIT Group Meeting and Orchard Walk:

Video of Drone at Nangiloc Pistachio Property – Falcon UAV Australia

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September 2016 PIT Group/Symposium and Field walk

Presentations (linked):

Photo Gallery for 2016 PIT Group Meeting and PGAI Symposium

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November 2015 PIT Group Field Day and Field Walk – Link:

The 4th round of independent PITgroup meetings occurred in November 2015 in weather much more conducive than the July meetings – in fact you could say it was hot!   28 growers attended the two meetings – the first at Bob Hodgson’s property at Renmark on Tuesday 17th November and the combined Sunraysia/Swan Hill meeting at the Kyalite Pub, on Wednesday 18th November prior to an orchard walk at Kyalite Pistachios.  I thank all the growers who took the time to attend these presentations and orchard walks, particularly considering the heat in the orchards!  I also sincerely thank hosts’ Bob Hodgson and Chris Joyce for allowing the use of their properties for the meetings or orchard walks

Presentations (linked):

Photo Gallery for November 2015 PIT Group Meetings

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September 2015 PIT Group Meeting and Symposium

Presentations (linked):

Photo Gallery for September 2015 PIT Group Meeting and PGAI Symposium

No Photos – if you have any and would like them displayed, please send them to Trevor or Craig.

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July 2015 PIT Group Meeting and Orchard/Nursery Walk – Link: PIT Groups – July 2015 – report

The July 2015 round of PIT groups meetings on grower properties held in cold, blustery
conditions had 28 growers braving the conditions to attend the two meetings – the first at Jay
Ruediger’s property at Renmark on Monday 13th July and the combined Sunraysia/Swan Hill
meeting at the Binjara Nursery at Euston courtesy of the owner Justin Turner, on Tuesday
15th July. I thank all the growers who took the time to attend these presentations and
orchard walks, particularly considering the weather! I also sincerely thank hosts’ Jay
Ruediger and JustinTurner for allowing the use of their properties for the meetings.

Presentations (linked):

Dr Themis Michiailides Fungal Diseases Video:

Photo Gallery for the July 2015 PIT Group Meeting and Orchard/Nursery Walk

 

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May 2015 PIT Group Meeting and Orchard Walk – Link: PIT Groups – May 2015 – report

The May 2015 round of PIT groups meetings on grower properties was a definite success with 40 growers attending the three meetings – one at Martin Simpfendorfer’s property at Renmark on Wednesday 13th May, the next at Rodney Hand’s property at Colignan on Thursday 14th May and the last at Colin and Lois Caelli’s property at Vinifera on Friday 15th of May.  I thank all the growers who took the time to attend these presentations and orchard walks.

Presentations (linked):

  • Chris Joyce:  2015 Pistachio Crop Progress Report – Link:  PIT Group May 2015 presentation CJ
  • Dr Jianlu Zhang:    Winter Pruning of Pistachio and Orchard Sanitation – Link:
  • Craig Feutrill:  PGAI Pistachio Information and Technology Groups – Link:  PGAI_Mildura_Feb_15a_CF

Photo Gallery for the May 2015 PIT Group Meeting and Orchard Walk

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September 2014 PIT Group Meeting and Symposium

 Presentations (linked):

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August 2014 PIT Group Meeting

 Presentations (linked):

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September 2013 Spring Symposium

 Presentations (linked):

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