Excerpt from the article “2021 Pistachio Irrigation: Mitigation Strategies for Drought” by Mae Culumber, UC Cooperative Extension Nut Crop Advisor Fresno County, and Daniele Zaccaria, UC Cooperative Extension Agricultural Water Management Specialist on the San Joaquin Valley Trees and Vines website.
Limited water supplies and increasing costs will lead to tough decisions about when is the most beneficial time to irrigate pistachios this season. Pistachios are known for their ability to withstand drought, but the severity and length of a dry spell can result in high percentages of blanks, low shell splitting percentages, and reductions in overall yield. These negative impacts can be partially mitigated through good water budgeting strategies, monitoring tree water stress levels, and implementing drought management techniques such as proportional decreases in water application throughout the season or regulated deficit irrigation at different stages in crop development.
To learn more about principles and tools for these drought mitigation strategies, read the full article on San Joaquin Valley Trees and Vines.