Maximizing production on mature pistachios
Madera County CA
As pistachio trees mature, growers may notice a steady decline in productivity. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can be maximizing production on mature pistachios during the entire life of the tree — 300 years or more.
Farm smarter by employing these strategies
As pistachio trees reach full maturity, growers may notice a slow but steady decline in productivity, impacting the bottom line. Other growers avoid this problem by employing some of the following strategies, revitalizing their groves and maximizing production on mature pistachios.
1. Pruning to promote light penetration
A main objective of pruning is to confine trees to their allotted space and promote light penetration for viable nut production throughout the tree. Due to apical dominance, the most vigorous shoots develop from buds closest to the terminals, adding growth to the upper canopy and lateral margins of the canopy. Main bearing limbs also tend to become less upright with each year. This situation limits light penetration to lower fruit wood, and the result is a crop that is high in the canopy and further from the center of the tree, thus difficult to harvest. Mature tree pruning begins on the ground with hand shears. For the upper canopy, switch to pole pruners.
Source: Pistachio Production Manual, 5th Edition (2008)
2. Precision nutrition and soil management
To maximize production of mature trees, growers should implement precise nutrition management strategies. Regular soil testing is crucial for identifying nutrient deficiencies and tailoring fertilization programs accordingly. Balancing macronutrients and micronutrients, with special emphasis on potassium, ensures proper tree nutrition for optimal fruit development. Additionally, employing advanced soil management techniques, such as targeted irrigation and soil amendments, helps maintain ideal soil conditions for robust tree growth. Soil amendments — such as MultiFIX [see more below] — play a crucial role in improving soil fertility, structure, and nutrient availability, which can be crucial to the health and productivity of mature pistachio trees.
3. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices
Effective pest and disease management is vital to safeguard yields. Implementing IPM practices involves regular monitoring for pests and beneficial insects, as well as strategic application of pest control measures when necessary. Timely and targeted treatments, along with proper sanitation and disease prevention measures, help protect pistachio trees from pests and diseases that can impact production and profitability.
4. Pollination strategies for increased fruit set
Growers should prioritize pollination to maximize fruit set and subsequent yields. Optimal male-to-female tree ratios [typically about 1:20] should be maintained in your orchard, to ensure adequate pollination. Collaborating with professional beekeepers to provide honeybee colonies during bloom is a recommended practice. Additionally, creating a pollinator-friendly environment by incorporating native flowering plants can attract more pollinators and boost overall pollination success.
5. Regular applications of MultiFIX to increase production and quality
By focusing on nurturing the native microbes in the soil, MultiFIX promotes a symbiotic relationship between the microbes and the plants, leading to improved growth, vigor, and ultimately, increased yields. The ability of MultiFIX to provide specific nutrients that enhance microbial reproduction and survival can significantly benefit pistachio growers looking to optimize their production.
The rhizosphere, the soil region directly influenced by the plant’s root system, plays a vital role in nutrient cycling and plant-microbe interactions. By fortifying the rhizosphere with beneficial microbes through MultiFIX, growers can harness the power of these microbes to enhance nutrient uptake, improve soil structure, and boost plant resilience against stressors such as pests, diseases, and environmental factors.
Incorporating MultiFIX into your cultivation practices leads to healthier pistachio trees — whether new or mature — that exhibit increased resistance to various stressors, ultimately translating into higher yields and improved profitability. By utilizing MultiFIX alongside the strategies mentioned earlier in this post, growers can create a comprehensive approach to optimize yields and unlock the full potential of their mature pistachio orchards.
MultiFIX revitalizes Madera grower's 47-year-old trees
Look what happened when this grower added MultiFIX to his 47-year-old trees. His mature pistachio trees rejuvenated his orchard with bigger leaves, healthier trees and increased production.