Irrigation Management

Irrigation Management of Pistachios in Australia

Irrigation Management is important since it helps determine future Irrigation expectations. Irrigation is the artificial exploitation and distribution of water at project level aiming at application of water at field level to agricultural crops in dry areas or in periods of scarce rainfall to assure or improve crop production. The goal of irrigation management is to use water in the most profitable way at sustainable production levels. For production agriculture this generally means supplementing precipitation with irrigation.


Surface drip irrigation, shown here, on a pistachio field in Los Banos, California

Surface drip irrigation, shown here, on a pistachio field in Los Banos, California

Minimising drip system drainage

Drip irrigation has become the standard irrigation system adopted for irrigated
horticulture. Most irrigators are generally operating at a high level of
Recent observations have highlighted that drip irrigators can achieve even greater
efficiencies by addressing system drainage (often referred to as ‘drain-out’).
Reducing the level of system drainage will result in a more even water application, a
reduction in localised rootzone waterlogging and crop productivity loss.

Read more of the Ag Victoria publication here:  Minimising drip drainage

Managing Pistachio Trees During Drought Conditions

Ian Atkinson’s talk from the November PITgroup.  Managing irrigation during times of shortage

Measurement Engineering Australia presentation on moisture monitoring methodology for Pistachio orchards:  2015 Pistachios Renmark Nov MEA

Research Papers

New (2018) 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

Optimizing Pistachio Irrigation Management Using the Relationship between Echo-physiological Characteristics and Water Stress,  N. Sedaghati, and H. Hokmabadi (2015): Optimizing Pistachio Irrigation Management

Improving the precision of irrigation in a pistachio farm using an unmanned airborne thermal system (2015) : V. Gonzalez‑Dugo, D. Goldhamer, P. J. Zarco‑Tejada, E. Fereres: Abstract A study was conducted in a large pistachio farm in Madera County, California, to assess the spatial variability in water status and irrigation needs by using high-resolution thermal imagery acquired by an unmanned aerial system.  pistachio precision irrigation

Optimisation of irrigation system in arid land pistachio orchards, M.T. Dastorania, M. Heshmati, M. A. Sadeghzadeh (2007) : Optimisation of irrigation_arid land_pistachios

Irrigation and irrigation management strategies of pistachio orchards, Kirnak H., Ak B.E., Açar I. SUMMARY – Irrigation is a required management practice in pistachio nut production for higher quality and quantity. A proper irrigation management technique that maintains an optimum soil moisture and environment in the root zone increases yield of the pistachio nut tree. Since pistachio tree on the Pistacia vera rootstock does not tolerate excess water in the root zone, over-irrigation must be avoided. In the determination of water requirement of pistachio tree, pan evaporation is commonly used due to its simplicity. However, development and use of a stochastic evapotranspiration model involves solar radiation, vapour pressure deficit and leaf area index
and can be a more accurate solution in the irrigation of the pistachio orchard. General principles of irrigation and irrigation management of pistachio nut trees were given in this study.  :Irrigation and Irrigation management strategies 01600190