Pistachio industry expansion


The pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) is native to the desert regions of western Asia and Asia Minor and has a high tolerance to salinity and drought stress. Pistachios are wind pollinated dioecious trees (separate male and female trees) that grow best under hot, dry summers and cold winters. It is expected by seven year of age trees are productive, with full bearing by 10–12 years of age (Ferguson, 2005).

Australian production averages at 3000 kg/ha annually (PGAI, 2011) with 950 ha of pistachio plantings in 2014 (ANIC, 2014). The Australian pistachio industry primarily operates along the River Murray from Swan Hill in Victoria and up into South Australia (SA). Production also occurs in Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW). The local (Australian) demand for pistachios has steadily increased by approximately 9% per annum since 2000 (ANIC, 2014).

While the productivity of the Australian pistachio industry is increasing, local production only supplies approximately 40% of local demand. Industry expansion will require establishing new pistachio plantings. Climatic and agronomic factors that influence pistachio production have been used to model potential regions within Australia suitable for such expansion.

This information package is supplementary to the high resolution maps available online as both PDF documents with theoretical bioclimatology data and an interactive map with a range of different data sources. The information provided should be used as a guide to find potential regions for expansion. However, specific and comprehensive site analysis must precede the final decision regarding site suitability for any orchard establishment.

A further use of this work would be to provide information of suitable regions for sentinel plantings to determine the most appropriate regions for expansion of the Australian pistachio industry.


Primefact 1438 Second Edition

Published: Jul 2016

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