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 Swan Hill Chemicals undertook monitoring of pistachio orchards during the period 2016 - 2018. This established that although pistachio orchards carry a wide range of insect pests, none of these are found in damaging levels. Carpophilus beetle was found in low numbers, and this is a damaging pest of almonds. To better understand the role of overwintering nuts (mummies) on levels of this pest, a further assessment of the orchards is planned for winter 2019.
To further explore the role of orchard management practices on the high levels of beneficial insects found in the pistachio orchards, Ag Dynamics has been engaged to undertake further research in the 2019/20 growing season. Dr Mary Retallack has been included in the project team to support the literature review and field work into the role of beneficial insects in the orchards.
The project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the pistachio research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment visit horticulure.com.au