The cultivation of pistachio (Pistacia vera) has its origin in Western Asia and Asia Minor. Its cultivation was already known by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans; it was introduced to Italy from Syria in the 1st century and then its cultivation was extended to the rest of the countries of the Mediterranean basin.
The implantation in Spain is relatively recent, being in the Lleida area where it was introduced. It was in the 1980s when planting began in Spain. Currently there are several areas where there are pistachio plantations: Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Cataluña, Andalucía and Extremadura. The total area is around 45,000 ha in our country. 60% in rainfed and 40% in irrigated land.
It’s a dioecious plant, it needs male and female plants for its reproduction. For this reason, there should be a ratio of 8-9 female plants for each male. Although it’s a plant that can adapt to different types of soil, it prefers loamy-sandy soils with good drainage and depth. The most widely used planting frame is 6x7m.
The use of different varieties will be determined mainly by the adaptation to the area where the cultivation plot is located. The number of cold hours and the possibility of frost in the early spring are two aspects to consider to choose the best variety. The other important aspect is the commercial value of the fruit, decrease in open fruits, % of empty fruits, size and production precocity.
Pistachio varieties are mainly distinguished between productive varieties and pollinating varieties. Among the productive varieties we can find the Aegina, Larnaka and Mateur although the main one is Kerman. Of the pollinating varieties, the main one is Peters. We also find the Egino and Mateur that pollinate their female varieties (Aegina and Mateur).
The selection of each one will be determined by the correct reception of pollen by the female flowers at the time of flowering. By means of adequate pruning and correct nutrition, we will obtain the greatest number of branches per tree, obtaining 20 or more fruits per cluster. A good nutritional balance can bring us closer to the maximum genetic potential of the chosen variety.
Pistachio cultivation is adapted to very adverse environmental conditions; withstands cold and extreme heat very well. The accumulation of cold hours normally exceeds 1.100, as well as 3.500 heat units for Kerman or Peters, the most common.
Pistachio Fertilisation Program
JISA recommends carrying out a fertilisation program based on the analysis of the soil of the plots, in order to carry out a correct nutrition for the crop, and to correct, with actions and specific management, certain parameters that can be improved. Likewise, it’s advisable to carry out foliar analyses of the crop, mainly in late July or early August to monitor and anticipate any element deficiency.
The fertilisation will depend on whether we are in a rainfed or irrigated crop. In a rainfed crop, the ground fertilising is very important; in irrigated crops we can provide at all times the nutritional elements that the plant needs in each cultivation phase, and therefore there are products with rapid assimilation that improve the efficiency of the fertiliser, increasing the availability of the nutritive elements by the plant. In both cases, the foliar applications of nutritional products are the perfect complement for a correct nutrition of the pistachio tree.
In this sense, JISA recommends the application of Libamin Mix (Radicular), to strengthen the root system from the sprouting phase, in this way roots are activated and good absorption of nutrients is achieved throughout the cycle.
Humic acids are important to increase the efficiency of the fertilisation that we are carrying out, since it improves the availability of the nutritive elements for the plant, which helps us to obtain optimal production. The application of Humilig 25 Plus or Humilig 11-5, improves the soil structure, dampens the pH of the soil, also favours the microbial activity that carries out the decomposition processes of organic matter.
Fulvin 40-22 (Furdos), is a JISA product that’s recommended to be used throughout the cycle in fertigation, it mixes perfectly with all mineral fertilisers and has an activating effect on soil microorganisms, as well as a biostimulant effect on the plant and especially its osmoprotective effect improving the ability to tolerate extreme temperatures and overcome stress caused by lack of water. A crop that supports and overcomes situations of water stress increases its production capacity.
It is recommended to carrying out foliar treatments to complement soil fertilisation. For this, JISA has a range of biostimulant products and specific formulations, with fast assimilation, for each phase of the pistachio cultivation.
Jisabiol, is a high-quality amino acid-based product that strengthens the vegetative development of the plant and increases its photosynthetic capacity. Nutrijisa Zn-Mn and Nutrijisa Boro can be applied from the pre-flowering phase and provide the essential microelements so that the metabolic processes that the plant needs in this phase can be carried out, such as the synthesis of natural hormones and the germination of pollen. Algadul is a biostimulant product based on seaweed extract that favours fruit setting and blends very well with phytosanitary and nutritional treatments.
During the hottest months, flower buds can fall, because the plant cannot contibute enough nutrients to the buds, since it’s intended to ensure the fruits filling, therefore the use of a biostimulant with osmoprotector effect like Glybet, will help us obtain the best results in the current campaign and in the subsequent one. For fruit filling, we recommend foliar applications with Jisafol Fattening that provides potassium with fast assimilation and is compatible with all phytosanitary treatments.
In the ripening phase of the fruit, the use of Top-k provides a high contribution of potassium without increasing the electrical conductivity of the irrigation, and will allow us to homogenize the harvest date and amortize expenses.
For the control of pistachio diseases such as Verticillium dahliae, prevention is always advisable with foliar applications based on Cupronate, a complexed copper-based formulation compatible with all phytosanitary treatments.
After the harvest, it is recommended to do a treatment to ensure the quantity of flower buds and a good flowering, for the next year, so from JISA we recommend post-harvest treatments to ensure that the tree will have sufficient reserves to nourish the new buds. already differentiated in this period. And that’s why foliar applications based on Jisamar, Nutrijisa Zn and Nutrijisa Boro, increase the reserves of these microelements and carbohydrates, which influence in the formation of future flower buds
For any technical consultation about our products in pistachio cultivation, you can contact the JISA technical-commercial team to help you get the most out of your pistachio cultivation.
Arturo Sanchis – Area Manager