Pistachio orchards in Australia are largely free of damaging insect pests, but the industry is being proactive by assessing what potential pests may be present but are yet to emerge into economically damaging levels.
Ag Dynamics, together with Retallack Viticulture and Swan Hill Chemicals undertook research to identify pest risks and ways to improve the management of these.
The project demonstrated the wide range of pests, but also a great abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods in the orchards and surrounding vegetation. Winter assessments of mummy nuts identified some potential risk for the industry.
The project concluded with some recommendations for the industry to pursue, namely:
1) improve post-harvest orchard hygiene to reduce the potential threat to industry caused by Carpophilus beetle, Florida pink scavenger moth and other insect pests overwintering in mummy nuts,
2) manage native vegetation around orchards to maintain and increase the diversity and populations of beneficial arthropods and,
3) develop knowledge of cultural and chemical management practices that may impact on the pest-predator balance within orchards.