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  • Pistachio growers say harvest is going nuts from good weather and better farming practices

    Feb 25th, 2016

    The majority of the nation's pistachio crop is grown along the Murray River in southern New South Wales, north-western Victoria, and South Australia. Grower and processor Chris Joyce from Kyalite said the quality of this year's harvest was exceptional.

    "Pistachios are an alternate-bearing crop, they have a very big crop and then they have a smaller crop, this year should have been one of the lower crops," he said.

    "This is without question the best off crop we have ever seen; the quality of this year's crop is absolutely extraordinary.

    "We have low percentages of closed shell nuts and low percentages of damaged nuts on the tree and the yields are well above what we would have ever expected to achieve in an off crop, so this is a good year."

    Industry could grow to meet domestic demand

    The low staining and high yields should mean better returns for growers who are paid on quality and quantity. Chris Joyce said he was expanding his plantings and was aware of other producers doing the same.

    He said the industry was growing gradually and there was no risk of domestic oversupply.

    "I have seen the crop go from being a very specific specialty crop with a total crop of a few hundred tonnes being consumed in Australia," he said.

    "Now it's a mainstream product that you can now buy in the major supermarkets. "Currently Australia is only growing about half of what we consume so we think that very simply we could double production and continue to satisfy the Australian market."