Did you miss the annual Pistachio Growers Conference?
Catch some of the main points from the State of the Industry talk by Richard Matoian, head of American Pistachio Growers, in this 5-minute video from the California Ag Network.
On the plus side, pistachio bearing acres will go from 264,000 today to 350,000 in 2023, Matoian said.
There is a problem facing the industry, though: Navel orangeworm is prevalent around the state, and the pest has a correlation with aflatoxin, a toxin that can get shipments of pistachios rejected from European and Asian countries.
“The higher amount of navel orangeworm damage that you have, you will in fact have a higher incidence of aflatoxin,” Matoian said in his interview with California Ag Network.
“We want to make sure we keep those export markets open, because 70% of our crop is being exported every year,” he said. “Our processors are doing all that they can, but this really has to start from the grower end in reducing their navel orangeworm damage that they find in their orchards.”
It’s a theme that has been heard before from the Pistachio Research Board, which has told growers about aflatoxin, navel orangeworm, and another concerning new toxin, OTA.
How can growers fight navel orangeworm more effectively?
Here are some resources:
- Blog: Navel orangeworm mating disruption basics for pistachio growers: The how, the why, and the where
- Blog: 2017 navel orangeworm report and sanitation tips for growers
- Link: UC Pest Management Guidelines on dealing with navel orangeworm
- Link to slides: Aflatoxin & Its Interaction with Navel Orangeworm
- Link to U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization guide: Prevention of aflatoxin in pistachios