September/October 2015 - Task List for Pistachios

PISTACHIO PRODUCTION

By Bob Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

Harvest: I think nut maturity is about the same as last year. Chris Wiley, Agri-World Ranch manager, and veteran of over 35 harvests, called the other day lamenting the loss of a “normal” harvest year. Like a fine wine, he reminisced about the “harvest of ‘98,” when a single five-second shake rained all the nuts onto the catch frames with great quality. 

October 2015 - Task List for Pistachios

By Robert Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

Harvest: It was fast and brutally disappointing for many growers in areas with insufficient chilling. Many growers report harvesting 100-200 pounds, and some orchards were apparently not harvested at all. Orchards on the east side of the southern San Joaquin Valley performed much better where the chill accumulation was higher.

December 2015 - Task List for Pistachios

By Robert Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

For farmers, there never seems to be much “downtime” anymore. With harvest completed, you now have to prep the ground for planting next spring, tune up the herbicide rig for your pre-emergent berm treatments, apply soil amendments, and begin your pruning and sanitation program. It is ALSO time to purchase and install a simple temperature recorder in each orchard so that you have real-time weather data to refer to for chill accumulation and assessment of freeze events. 

January 2016 - Task List for Pistachios

By Robert Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

Chilling and Cold Weather Update: We have eased into the cold weather this year, and thus far have not had any really low temps that might hurt the pistachio trees. You can drive around and still see plenty of almond trees with a full head of hair. Thus far, the chill accumulation for this winter appears good statewide. Table 1 provides the chill portions for various sites throughout the Valley between September 1 and December 13 for the past three winters, and 2010, in which over 70 chill portions were accumulated by February 15.

September 2016 - Task List for Pistachios

By Robert Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

Harvest: Growers started shaking Golden Hills and Kalehgucci the week of August 22, but I do not think most Kerman orchards (those still on P. atlantica will be earliest) will be ready until the first week in September. Everyone seems to now realize there are a lot of pistachios to harvest, thus there are already discussions about not having enough trucks or processing capacity to handle the peak. Time will tell. 

January 2017 - Pistachio Task List

By Robert Beede, U.C. Farm Advisor, Emeritus

Chilling and Cold Weather Update: Those of you who are outside every day know that it has been pretty warm. The only cold weather occurred during the first week of December in which many locations within the Central Valley experienced three to five days of temperatures ranging from 30-320°F. The Colusa CIMIS station reported 260°F the morning of December 6.