The pistachio pages on this site include listings of pistachio nurseries, growers, sales as well as industry overviews, propagation information, pistachio products and a range of other pistachio information.
The major pistachio producing countries are U.S. (California), Italy and Turkey. In Australia pistachio nuts are grown commercially primarily in the northern Murray River area between Swan Hill and Walkerie. Pistachios are also grown in Central West area of Victoria, the Pinnaroo region of South Australia and more recently in Western Australia.
The industry in Australia became active around 30 years ago following the development of the Sirora variety by the CSIRO. There are currently around 25 commercial pistachio growers in Australia.
There is currently 970 ha under production producing 1,275 tonnes in-shell (2009). The area under production is expected to increase to 1,770 ha by 2014 and by 2020 pistachio production could average 2,066 tonnes/year. (Source – Australian Nut Industry Council).
For more information on pistachio production and markets see Pistachio Production, Industry and Markets (ANIC website)
Pistachio Growers Association Incorporated (PGAI)
Australian Pioneer Pistachios operate a hulling and grading plant at Robinvale.
Crop of pistachio nuts – Courtesy of Pistachio Growers Association Incorporated
Publications and Information
- The Pistachio Growers Association Incorporated Strategic Plan (2002). The Plan includes details of production and marketing, the local and global industry and current status and future of the industry in Australia.
- The Pistachio Annual industry Report ( 07/08) produced by Horticulture Australia Ltd focuses on the pistachio industry and recent developments.
- A Handbook for Farmers and Investors – Pistachios” published by Rural Industries Development Corporation.
Festivals and Exhibitions
- Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival (California – November)
- Golden Pistachio Festival – Gaziantep (Turkey Sept – October) or the Camel Wrestling Festival for something different.
- Pistachio Festival (Bronte – Sicily – October)
Pistachio trees are hardy and tolerate of sandy soils (in fact they require well drained soil), wind, drought and salt. They also require cool winters (more than 1,000 hours <7C including frosts) and hot summers (more than 600 hours >30C). Popular with permaculture farmers the pistachio can handle semi-arid conditions and is reputed to have roots capable of going down to 20 metres in search of water.
Pistachios are biennual bearing and are harvested in April. After shaken from the tree, the husks are removed and the nuts need to be dried when still in the shell in the sun. After drying they need to be stored in a cool place.
Pistachios are deciduous and need to be topped at a certain level to encourage shaping in growth. They are wind-pollinated, the pollen being a fine powder that can blow up to 7 km. For hobby farmers and small land holders 2 male pollinators for each 8 female trees is recommended. Honeybees collect pollen from male pollinators but do not visit female flowers.
After 25 or 30 years a pistachio tree measures 6 to 8 metres. A pistachio tree produces fruit from 5-7 years depending on conditions. A rule of thumb is 1 kg of nuts per year of tree age ( for well maintained trees between the age 7 to 20 years).
Technically what is known as the pistachio nut is in fact a drupe (fleshy indehiscent fruit)
Pistachios are rich in the antioxidant, Vitamin A, calcium and iron. For information on health and the nutrition of pistachio nuts see the Health – Pistachio Nut.
Australian Pistachio Nurseries
Australian Pistachio Growers
Australian Pistachio Sales
- Australian Pioneer Pistachios (South Australia and Victoria)
- Go Just Nuts (Victoria)
- Nut Producers Australia (Victoria)
- W.A. Pistachios (Western Australia)
- Pistachio (California Rare Fruit Growers)
- California Pistachio Board
- Administrative Committee for Pistachios (California)
- Western Pistachio Association (US)