Despite reports of isolated damage from the April 16 frost in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the pistachio crop at the first of May in this on-year of production is generally in good shape, according to Justin Kulikov, Primex Farms, Wasco, Calif.
As the grower representative for the pistachio processing and marketing company, he works with producers from Merced County in the north to Kern County in the south.
“Due to a good bloom period, it looks right now like we’ll have a large crop,” he says. “Of course, we’ll know more in July when the nuts begin filling.”
Overall, the impact of the April freezing temperatures appears to be minimal, Kulikov notes. “I saw some light damage in the Madera area and some farther south in low-lying areas of the foothills. Some leaves and blooms were burnt along the fringes of fields and in low areas farther into the fields.’
Although he hasn’t seen any, he’s received reports of leaf-footed plant bug in areas of Kings and Tulare counties.
“The navel orangeworm continues to be the biggest insect threat for our growers,” he says. “Trees stressed by the short supplies of water this year could experience an earlier-than-normal hull split, opening them up to infestations of the insect. But, growers are managing water as best they can to minimize stress to the trees.”